Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Cheeky Hedmark trip

A long(ish) staying Black Tern was enough to tip the scales and prompt me to make a cheeky trip to Hedmark today ahead of some trips in the next few weeks for guiding and survey work.

Of course the fact that I was attempting to twitch it was all the incentive the tern needed to move on. Black Tern is very scarce in Norway and a hole on my list. This one had chosen to hang around on a tiny pool in an arable field that held a small (ca.25 pairs) colony of Black-headed Gulls. This colony also attracted Coot, Moorhen, Slavonian Grebe, Tufted Duck and a Little Gull (have been two) which is quite extraordinary considering how small it is (see the picture).

Well the tern was only one of the attractions Hedmark had and the other two didn’t disappoint. First I had an adult and young Great Grey Owl in a nest I had also seen used in 2014 (the last year of mass breeding in Hedmark) and then I had three singing Ortolan Buntings. Two of Norway’s rarest and coolest breeders enjoyed on a nice warm spring day – cheers!

After this I drive the scenic route home hoping for raptors as the weather seemed perfect to get them up in the air. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to really find them if they were there and only had two Kestrels plus a couple of second glimpse of my first Honey Buzzard of the year.

A big surprise though came when I stopped at a site where Hawk Owl bred in 2014. I didn’t find any this year but did see a Grey-headed Woodpecker in flight that then landed on and disappeared into a tree. I had found my first ever breeding Grey-headed Woodpeckers – a species that I don’t even see annually. I got to see the male really well and will maybe be able to follow this site more later.

Lots of pictures and video taken today. Here are the first batch of photos:

I can see you 
Great Grey Owl (lappugle)

singing male Ortolan (hortulan). Note it is ringed and from what I can make out not a Norwegian ring (more work needed here)

male Grey-headed Woodpecker (gråspett)

the small pool that had housed a Black Tern until yesterday

2cy Little Gull (dvergmåke) and Slavonian Grebes (horndykker)

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