Thursday, 6 April 2017

A real surprise

I had a very early start in some deep forests hoping to see something large and pale charcoal coloured but didn’t succeed on that score. I did hear the sound of many lekking Black Grouse, had a singing Parrot Crossbill plus Black Woodpeckers, Mistle Thrushes and could hear displaying Cranes. So a nice way to spend breakfast!

Later in the day I visited Kjelle where there were still no Green-winged Teal or Garganey amongst the Teal and only a single Tundra/rossicus Bean Goose amongst the geese.

Svellet was the site of the day. Curlew numbers have now risen to 86 and 66 Teal were feeding in the shallow waters (water is at a premium as it is mostly mud). So this was a huge increase from 2 days ago when there were 26 Curlew and no Teal. Highlight and a real surprise though was a raptor. On Tuesday I had an adult Peregrine perched on a log out in the middle, so when I saw a distant perched raptor I initially assumed it was the same Peregrine. However, something was not right and I cranked up the magnification on the scope. This bird was pale and grey, it was lacking a moustache stripe and instead had dark cheeks and its tail clearly projected beyond the wing tips – a GYR FALCON. This was my first record in Akershus and as has been the case with all my records of Gyr Falcon was a distant bird that allowed itself to barely be photographed – when will I see a close photogenic bird? The ID through the scope was not in doubt though. The plumage was not of a juv/2cy bird which would be expected but instead of an older bird. Adults should be firmly established on breeding sites now so unless this was a wandering unpaired non-breeding bird I assume it was a 3cy.

Crappy photos indeed. But through the 'scope I could see this was a Gyr Falcon (jaktfalk) 
Tundra (rossicus) Bean Goose with Pink-footed, and Canada Geese. When asleep its darker back allowed it to be separated from the Pink-foots which (generally) have a greyer back

some of the Curlews (storspove) feeding in Svellet

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