Sunday, 26 March 2017

Maridalen first!

On Saturday I couldn’t drag myself out of bed to join Halvard H for a pre breakfast jaunt but luckily didn’t miss anything too exciting. In the afternoon I had the rare treat of some time alone with Mrs OB and we cycled up into Maridalen. Here we had remarkably few birds but were able to tick off a long list of Oslo’s finest birders. Almost the only bird we saw was a White Wagtail which was my first of the year.

This morning though I did manage to drag myself out of bed (the clocks changing seemed to help) and beat Halvard into the Dale. Very unexpectedly I had a Maridalen tick and not one I would have predicted. On one of the small ice free areas of the lake I spotted three geese one of which was much smaller than the others. The light was behind the birds and it was a bit difficult at first. I saw that the two larger were Greylags and suddenly suspected the smaller bird would turn out to be a Lesser White-front (from the failed Swedish reintroduction scheme). However, it turned out to be a Brent Goose! The markings show it, unsurprisingly, to be the same bird seen elsewhere over the last week but that it would turn up in Maridalen hadn’t even crossed my mind.

There was no large arrival of birds but Oslo’s first Mistle Thrush and Redwing of the year were noted and a flyby Wagtail from the car was possibly a Pied rather than a White but couldn’t be relocated. The Great Grey Shrike was singing very loudly and was giving a version of its “song” that I don’t remember having heard before.

In the afternoon temperatures reached an astonishing 20C!!! This brought with it Pink-footed Geese and I had three flocks totalling over 300 birds over the house. Two flocks came over just before sunset and with all lakes still being frozen may well have decided to continue migrating through the night.
you only realise how small Brent Geese (ringgås) are when you see them next to a Greylag or Canada Goose

Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) over the house 
and three minutes later another flock

Twite (bergirisk) in Maridalen

currently there is only one pair of Lapwing (vipe) in Maridalen and I really hope more turn up. They were displaying today with the male appearing to make a nest scrape to impress the female 
Mistle Thursh (duetrost)

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