Friday, 13 January 2017

Tipping me over the edge

I finished my last post with the word DIRE and will start this post with the same word, repeated many times: DIRE, DIRE, DIRE, DIRE

Wednesday’s storm blew quickly over and yesterday it was sunny and just a strong breeze. I went forest birding and birding conditions were good. In the same area of Lillomarka that gave many good birds in November and December I had to list a calling Black Woodpecker as the best bird.
Others had a good day yesterday though. The storm had blown in a number of good gulls (although why did I see none when the wind was blowing?) and a Med Gull was found on the other side of the fjord from where I had been seawatching the day before and Østfold had a number of good gulls. The great big dump at Øra had two different Caspian Gulls and a Glaucous Gull and Jerry Skogbeck had yet another good find when he visited a rarely visited dump near Askim and turned up Iceland and Glaucous Gull. The pictures were so good and the birds so close that I found myself unable to resist a trip there this morning. This was dump and gull watching as it should be. You could stay in your car, it didn’t smell and the area was small enough that you felt you had good control of the birds. In addition, I was not the only birder there and had the company of Morten Olsen as we sat in my car from 0935 until 1115. I think anyone would agree that that is a sterling effort for gulling at a dump and in my opinion it should have been rewarded with gold. Unfortunately, though that was not the case and despite there being at least 500 Herring Gulls all we could find amongst them was 15+ Great Black-backs. An adult Herring Gull with small dark eyes made me get the camera out but the wing pattern ruled out any thoughts of an adult Caspian. Morten stayed when I left to take the scenic route home and predictably it was only half an hour after I left that he rang to say that the Iceland Gull had turned up……DIRE.

 I was in two minds as to whether to turn round but decided to continue back to Oslo where I hoped that a dose of Hawkie would save my day. I got my dose but it didn’t hit the spot at all and I feel that I need something very hardcore quite soon or else this birding business will lose some of its charm.

There was very little else to see along the way and my last hope for the day was to find a good gull at the tip in Oslo. I’m not sure that I have ever visited two different dumps on the one and the same day so yet again felt I should be rewarded by the birding gods but yet again I failed to see anything other than Herring and GBBG. Maybe I should try stamps, or planes or how about trains?
Tangen tip, near Askim 

possibly rarest bird of the day - a Russian ringed 3cy Herring Gull. It was ringed as a nestling 1343km away near Murmansk on 14 June 2015 and was seen in September 2016 at the Great Big Dump.

my small, dark eyed Herring Gull which I also thought a bill that was good for Caspian. Structure and leg length though were as Herring
but I don't think this wing pattern says anything other that Herring
my first dose of Hawkie in 2017
The Maidalen Great Grey Shrike (varsler). I only had one other of this species during the day in what seems to be a poor winter for the species

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