Saturday, 20 May 2017

Rosefinch in apple blossom

Well tomorrow (today) didn’t bring too much for me or anyone else locally. I started early at Huk to see if there was anything on the sea which there wasn’t and then against my better judgement went to look for the King Eider which of course I couldn’t find. After that it was Maridalen where the male Scaup was still present and three large Tawny Owl babies were peering out of their nestbox with mum (or dad?) watching. Interestingly when the young actually stuck their head out of the hole the adult started alarm calling loudly as if to say “get back in”.

A shopping trip to Fornebu with the girls gave us a chance to check out the breeding Ringed Plovers which we had found on 29 April when the nest had four eggs. Today the adults were present and giving warning calls and distraction displays. We found an empty nest scrape (but looking at the pictures from 29 April this was a different scrape) and after some careful searching I found a single very small youngster. It was crouched motionlessly and was well camouflaged which probably explains why I saw no other youngsters. We left them in peace and as we left found an eggshell a good 30 metres from the nest. I wonder if the parents had moved it there or if a predator had taken an egg? With an incubation of period of 23-25 days and an assumed age of only a couple of days for the youngster we saw then when we saw the eggs on 29 April incubation would have begun about 5 days before. Interestingly these coastal southern breeders have young at the same time as the peak passage through our area of northern and mountain breeders.

I did not have too much else at Fornebu except for my first Common Rosefinch of the year which was a fine red male singing from amongst apple blossom!

singing Common Rosefinch (rosenfink) in apple blosson

here it is eating buds or possibly the blossom

this male Pied Flycatcher (svarthvitfluesnapper) was trying to take over a nest box already being used by Great Tits (kjøttmeis)
three baby Tawny Owls (kattugle) are now looking out of the nest box and will soon jump out

adult Ringed Plover (sandlo)

very small baby Ringed Plover

I found this nest scrape and assumed it was the plovers but comparing to pictures from 29 April (below) it isn't the one that held the four eggs this yea

egg shell found some distance from the nest
pictures from 29 April

where they are breeding - a very temporary habitat that it is more typical of Little Ringed Plovers to exploit

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