Sunday, 19 March 2017

Weekend birding

Friday I had my first trip of 2017 with Zak. We "raided" Østfold in weather that was undeniably spring like with temperatures nudging +10C although a fresh wind took the edge off things.

Saturday I was up at 6am for a pre breakfast Oslo jaunt and temperatures had fallen below zero and new ice had formed so if it continues like this it will take many weeks for ice to melt on lakes.

Yesterday's trip didn't end up bothering any rarities committees but Ringed Plover, Linnet,  Reed Bunting and finally Mistle Thrush were new for the year.

Saturday, I awoke early to go to Østensjøvannet to see a Brent Goose found there yesterday by Anne Kari who without fail finds every good but that turns up there. Brent Goose was an Oslo tick for me and it was very atmospheric watching it being lit up by the first rays of sun as it fed on frost covered grass.
A male Smew was found on Maridalsvannet on Saturday. I went to look for it but quite worryingly failed to see it despite there being only two tiny areas of open water and it being seen both before and after my visit. Guess it may have gone on a sightseeing tour when I was there......? Skylarks are back though despite the snow covered fields and a pair of adult Whooper Swans without any young may be the breeding pair although I would imagine that the valley will soon hold more than just the single breeding pair.
A brief Sunday morning trip revealed my first singing Chaffinches in the woods and with singing Yellowhammers and drumming Great Spotted and Black Woodpeckers and calling Green Woodpeckers so we will soon have a dawn chorus!

After Mistle Thrush took much longer than predicted to fall it would be foolish for me to come with more predictions but since Lesser Black-backed Gulls are already back in good numbers then that would be a safe bet. Or Twite, or Snipe.

Brent Goose (tinggås). The dark grey belly shows it to be of the subspecies bernicla also called Dark-bellied Bret. The white wings bars and relatively weak neck collar show it to be a bird bord last year - a 2cy

it spent a lot of time feeding on grass whilst sitting (as did many of the Greylags) Preserving energy and warmth?

a male Yellowhammer (gulspurv) in Maridalen

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