Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Marsh Harriers

Whilst we were having a return visit from winter around Oslo yesterday it was slightly better weather further south and two records of Pallid Harrier south of Oslo gave me hope that raptors may be on the move and with sun forecast today I had a hope they would make it closer to Oslo.

I chose to explore the area around Ski which is not normally on my itinerary but has areas of farmland and reed fringed lakes that may be attractive for raptors. The fact that I had eight species of raptor from the same spot in less than an hour of watching and had 9 species in total during the day shows that raptors were indeed moving. I should probably have spent a lot longer at my first stop but was keen to check out other sites including Nordre Øyeren but none of these were so productive.
My eight species were Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Merlin, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Osprey and Buzzard and I added Goshawk later in the day. Rough-legged Buzzard was an obvious omission and no eagles or anything rarer but I was happy with my raptor tally.

I also had Marsh Harriers at a further two locations suggesting this species had become firmly established as a breeding species. A brief stop in Maridalen in the early afternoon revealed Osprey, Kestrel and migrating Cranes so things are starting to warm up.

I checked out Svellet but the water level is so low that there were no birds at all! The chances of good mudflats and shallow water in the middle of May must be quite high....(fingers crossed)

Still no Jack Snipe, Willow Warbler, Wheatear of swallows so lots to look forward to!

one of 6 Marsh Harriers (sivhauk) during the day. I have concluded that this is a 3cy female based on a dark plumage which resembles a juv/2cy but the upper tail coverts are red and also the plumage isn't as worn as onw would expect on a 2cy 
same bird
an adult male Marsh Harrier being mobbed by a Lapwing
the same bird as above
yet again the same bird. This bird was good as disappearing and then arriving from a new place but plumage wise always seemed to be the same bird
he was paired and at one point descended calling from great height and was joined by an adult female (and mobbed by some crows)
the female was considerably larger with an almost Goshawk like jizz

I saw this male whilst driving just a minute after seeing another male (the location was not an obvious breeding area). The broader trailing edge to the wing shows this male to be younger than the one pictured above
no Pallied Harrier (steppehauk) for me but I did see this very distant male Hen Harrier (myrhauk)

finally a Kestrel (tårnfalk) in Maridalen. This female was one of 2 or 3 I saw during the day. Note the snow still in the forest

a Merlin (dvergfalk) 
fishing Osprey (fiskeørn) in Maridalen
a 2cy Peregrine (vandrefalk)

Cranes (trane) over Maridalen. The birds at 14:30 and 14:33 are the same due to the missing primary on the right wing of one of the birds
Greylag Geese are still on the move
Ring Ouzels
an adult male Scaup (bergand) was a surprise
This Twite (bergirisk) was singing and showed really well

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