Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Lost in translating

I’m spending a bit of time in front of the computer doing various translating work at the moment but at this time of the year one has to also get out to take the migration temperature even if it is a short and local trip.

Today I took the temperature of Bygdøy and Maridalen. At Bygdøy there are fewer Greylags now with birds having moved further on and there are still no flocks of thrushes or finches. A migrating flock of 8 Cormorants was good to see though. They were my first migrating flock of the year and as is often the case they were very uncertain as to what to do next when they were over Oslo but after lots of circling continued in a northerly direction.

Bird of the day was undoubtedly a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. This species is becoming decidedly rare and this was my first Oslo record since August 2015! This is the best time of the year to locate the species as birds of both sexes travel around and call and drum to advertise their presence and find a mate. I picked the bird up on call and after a little searching found it high up. It was a female and did not drum. There were also Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the area but a single spell of rather strange drumming may well have been from another Lesser Spot.

Out at Huk there were two Purple Sands but little else. It was high tide and the sandpipers were roosting on the far side of a rock and only came into full view when a Crow disturbed them. My pictures were not very good but someone who was there earlier in the morning had clearly seen them well on the right side of the rock.

Overnight rain and plus temperatures helped Maridalen thaw out a bit but it is still very wintery there. A single Lapwing was back on the fields but looking very forlorn. 14 Skylarks were together and birds were singing and chasing each other around but I don’t think food can be too easy to find. Visible migration was hard to find evidence of but two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Linnet flew north.

a rare bird in Oslo - female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett)
an even rarer in Oslo - Purple Sandpipers (fjæreplytt)

my first migrating Cormorants (storskarv) of the year 
the Great Grey Shrike (varsler) is still going strong in Maridalen but for how much longer? It will soon move on and other birds may grace the valley for a day or two on spring passage

Whooper Swan (sangsvane) in Maridalen 
separable by tail shape from Mute Swan

male Yellowhammer (gulspurv)

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