Thursday, 23 March 2017

Guiding in the cold

I was guiding Dianne and Becky from the USA today and we had to deal with a surprisingly cold day despite the sun shining but good birds were still to be had and a good day was had (as always). Maridalen and Bygdøy were on the cards plus a trip out east for geese and Cranes.

The cold weather seemed to put a brake on new migrants and once again passerines were very thin on the ground. Tits, Yellowhammers, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Grey Shrike and a singing female plumaged Common Crossbill showed though in Maridalen. Despite the cold a pair of Lapwings were displaying although it was the male doing most of the work and the female didn’t look too impressed. We also had the first Common Buzzard and Grey Wagtail of the year in the Dale.
Heading out to the Bean Geese they had lost the company of Cranes and Pink-feet but I was able to count a minimum of 119 and suspected more were out of sight. I had to work quite hard to find Crane. The fields are very dry and held very few birds but I did eventually find 6 Cranes some of which were displaying. We really need some rain and then warm weather to make the fields more attractive for the next wave of migrants.

We finished the day at Bygdøy where walking out to the beach two male Great Spotted Woodpeckers were having a Mexican standoff and a pair of Treecreepers showed very well. Close offshore we had a single Purple Sandpiper and Long-tailed Duck showing well. I returned here later to get pictures and was lucky enough to also have a Rock Pipit. I picked it up on call and it then landed behind the Purple Sand but the camera refused to take a picture and then the bird flew to the next rock and landed out of sight. It appeared again briefly before flying off calling – a typical observation around Oslo.

rarest bird of the day if not the best picture. Rock Pipit (skjærpiplerke)

It wouldn't have been possible to come closer to the Purple Sand (fjæreplytt) without a boat (and a guy did kayak between us and the bird without it minding) but the light was challenging 
this boat had to pass on the other side of the island ;-) The sandpiper is visible

Lapwing (vipe) 
female Long-tailed Duck (havelle)
displaying pair of Black-headed Gulls (hettemåke) 
Cranes (trane) were unusually difficult to find today although it is still very early in the season
Eiders (ærfugl)


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