Thursday, 27 April 2017

Dodgy duck

I decided to go raptor looking around Ski again today although with cloud I was never likely to see that much but it wasn’t a complete disappointment.

I had a pair of Marsh Harriers mating plus an additional male, female Hen Harrier (tried to string it into Pallid but the photos despite being crappy do show 5 fingers) and a Kestrel.

Most unusual bird of the day was a male hybrid dabbling duck who tail and speculum showed it to have Mallard as one parent and small size suggested Teal as the other but the plumage didn’t have any obvious Teal influence. This bird was clearly so strange that a Mute Swan kept chasing it away whilst ignoring Mallards and Teals in the same area.

After lunch I spent a productive couple of hours in Maridalen where a very tight flock of ca. 600 Pink-footed Geese were resting on the lake. A single Barnacle Goose amongst them was a very good candidate for a wild, Svalbard bird rather than the feral birds breeding around Oslo. I tried quite hard to string Bean and White-fronted Goose but gave up in the end (there is an enormous variety in bill marking, white around the bill and mantle colour amongst White-fronts). A minimum of 14 Black-throated Divers on the lake was a very high number and there were also two Red-throats. The sun shone through eventually and then suddenly there were raptors! I had three Kestrels, male Merlin, Osprey, 2 Sparrowhawks, a Buzzard and finally a migrating Rough-legged Buzzard.

With Swallow seen today I can now add Common Sandpiper to the running list of overdue summer migrants: Jack Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Wheatear and Willow Warbler.

The presumed hybrid male Mallard x Teal. Distances were huge so pictures are not very good. The tail is very much male Mallard and plumage wise there is little to suggest Teal but size was small and in the video feeding method was also Teal like. In this picture it is being chased by the Mute Swan which didn't take to it.

this phone scoped picture is actually better. Doesn't really resemble any of the birds here

adult female Marsh Harrier (sivhauk). Note how much browner/redder the plumage is compared to the 3cy female I photographed yesterday
male Marsh Harrier with nesting material


female plumaged Hen Harrier (myrhauk). Probably a 2cy due to dark underwing (but picture is too bad) and looks like some grey feathers on head? so a male?

the tight flock of Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) on Maridalsvannet with a Blackthroated Diver (storlom)

a presumed genuine wild Svalbard breeding Barnacle Goose (hvtkinngås)

two of at least 14 Black-throated Divers on Maridalsvannet
female Kestrel (tårnfalk)

male Merlin (dvergfalk) 
Finally a Rough-legged Buzzard in Maridalen
slighly better pictures of the male Scaup (same bird as yesterday)

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