Tuesday, 14 March 2017

March Guiding

I was guiding Deidre and Jared from New Jersey this morning and a successful trip it was! To minimise driving time and maximise birding time we kept within the city limits but still managed 49 species which for mid-March is good going. Bygdøy, Frognerpark and Maridalen were on today’s itinerary and we went from spring like conditions at Bygdøy to winter conditions in Maridalen.

At Bygdøy there has been a huge increase in the goose numbers and amongst 450 Greylags were 5 Barnacle, 1 Canada, 1 Pink-foot and a Greylag x Canada hybrid. Eight Lapwings here were, I bet, the Maridalen breeding population waiting for conditions there to improve.

Wood Pigeons and Starlings have now become widespread and at Huk there are now 30 Oystercatchers. There was also some local quality here with a single Purple Sandpiper (has been seen a couple of times during the winter) and 3 Long-tailed Ducks. All were close to the shore and would have given very good photo opp (despite of rain) if that had been my priority.

Frognerpark had Black-headed Gulls in summer plumage (my first of the year), a Coot, 5 species of duck and two pairs of Mute Swans. Mute Swans bred here last year but otherwise are very rare here and if I had been able to read the rings it would have been interesting to find out where these birds bred last year. We later had a flock of 16 Whooper Swans flying low over the town and I wonder whether these were the same birds I saw yesterday in Maridalen (and which were not present today).

Whilst I was guiding I had 3 missed calls and a text from Julian Bell who was on Gressholmen and was watching a Stonechat!! This species is an embarrassing hole on my Norwegian list and is one of three breeding species that I have still to see in this country (the others two being Leaches Petrel and White-backed Woodpecker). What makes matter worse with the Stonechat is that I have seen two Siberian Stonechats! The fact that Jules only got pants shots makes the pain a bit less....NOT!

So a twitch by boat to Gressholmen is a possibility for tomorrow although twitching a species that I have seen so many times before in England and Europe does feel very wrong. Going to check out the Bean Geese (the remaining two tagged birds moved on from Denmark early this morning) seems like a far more sensible choice.

Long-tailed Ducks (havelle). A young (2cy) male on the left (note the grey scapular feathers onthe  back, much white on head and bill pattern). The bird in the middle is a female (age?) and the bird on the right is also a young male although in the field I thought it was also a female. It is lacking any (adult) grey feathers on its back which suggested female but the head and  espescially bill which is two toned are of a male
spring is in the air - mating Oystercatcher (tjeld)

Purple Sandpiper (fjæreplytt)........ 
my first summer plumaged Black-headed Gulls (hettemåke) of the year in Frognerpark alongside a male Teal (krikkand)

Here a video of the various ducks I saw in Trondheim on Saturday

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