Monday, 20 March 2017

Winter returns

Lesser Black-backed Gull joined the year list today but was preceded by a Twite so my predictions aren’t that bad after all.

Winter returned today with overnight snow and temperatures only rising to +3C due to cloudy skies. This of course wasn’t likely to result in any new wave of spring migrants but a trip along the Glomma River today showed that spring migration is continuing. The most noticeable change was that Whooper Swan numbers have halved with birds continuing north and numbers now increasing in Hedmark county.

I only managed to find 42 Taiga Bean Geese (and only 5 tagged birds) on the favoured field but the birds were feeding in a difficult to observe position and it is likely there were more there although I doubt that over 80 birds were able to hide from me and is possible that birds have moved on already or more likely were using a different field (they were not resting on the river). There were 46 Pink-footed Geese on the same Felds but they were feeding separately.

The snow had caused Skylarks to congregate and a flock of 80 contained 4 Snow Buntings but no Shore Larks or Lapland Buntings (still very early for these species). Lapwings were very scarce on fields today but some had flocked together on mudbanks on the river where food was hopefully easier to find.

There are still no flocks of thrushes on the fields except for on one steep south facing and not frozen slope where I had 30 Starlings, 12 Fieldfares and a Mistle Thrush.

I had no raptors today but did have two Great Grey Shrikes.

Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) closest, with Taiga Bean Geese (sædgås), Cranes (trane) and Whooper Swans (sangsvane) behind the fence

Taiga Bean Geese including "7U"

Mistle Thrush (duetrost)

Skylarks (sanglerke) in the snow
3 Snow Buntings (snøspurv) in flight

4 Snow Buntings (snøspurv) 
Whooper Swans (sangsvane) in flight

and nearby a dead bird underneath electricty wires 
Great Black-backed Gull (svartbak), Lesser Black-backed Gull (sildemåke) and obscured Herring Gulls (gråmåke). This Great Black-back has grey/ green legs (should be pink) which should mean it is a Kelp Gull but I don't think anything else matches Kelp Gull which would be a first for Scandinavia...

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