Thursday, 11 May 2017

Same, same but better

We awoke to even more snow this morning and the higher areas on the edge of Oslo had over 30cm which is the largest snow fall this year!!!! Maridalen was even white than yesterday and early on there was hardly any bare ground and Wheatears and Whinchats were just stood on the snow looking forlorn. With such weather it was no surprise that passerines were much the same as yesterday but with the snow stopping it was better photo conditions. The Little Gulls had unfortunately moved but there were a lot of waders early on and I beat Halvard’s recent record with a total of 124 waders although of only 7 species. Early on waders were resting on the edge of the lake but soon there were birds migrating to the north and almost all birds had cleared out by mid morning. Whimbrels were the most numerous with 51 including 7 birds resting on the snow and a flock of 33 heading north. Greenshanks numbered 36 including 26 resting at one stage.

The Slavonian Grebe was also still present and showed even better today.
edstart. I had hoped for some raptors but had to make do with two Kestrels heading strongly north – when will I get a Pallid Harrier in the Dale?

At lunch I went to Østensjøvannet hoping for hirundines and terns and was not to be disappointed. Amongst over 100 Swallows and 50 House Martins were my first Swifts of the year with over 20 present. There were also 6 commic terns. At least 3 were Common and 1 an Arctic but the other two I never saw well enough although suspect they were also Arctic. The three Commons were showing at very close range and the one Arctic I positively ID’s also showed well but only on one occasion. I have never really been that happy with telling Common and Arctic Terns apart at range in spring and today just highlighted for me how difficult it is. The longer tail streamers and whiter wing overside of the Artic were the easiest way to pick it out.

Østensjøvannet also held a pair of Shoveler and a flock of 30 Tufted Duck flew in whilst I was there. There were also passerines here with another two

The weather is going to improve a bit so a lot of birds will move on and fewer will be grounded by the weather but we may hopefully get a rush of birds that have been held back by the weather.

even more snow than yesterday in Maridalen
The Lapland Bunting (lappspurv) showed even better

and then a bit better

and then at point blank range

Bluethroats (blåstrupe) also showed ridiculously well

and the Slavonian Grebe (horndykker) also wanted to get in on the act

Greenshank (gluttnsipe)

Arctic Tern (rødnebbterne) at Østensjøvannet

Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern

Common Tern (makrellterne) I've not noticed such dark secondaries on an adult before maybe it is a 3cy? 
Common Tern - note the much more diffuse black trailing edge to the primaries compared to the Arctic

Common Terns - note the black wedge in the primaries compared to the white upper primaries of the Arctic Tern 
Black-throated Divers (storlom) Maridalsvannet

not often that one sees the feet of a Great Crested Grebe (toppdykker)
Meadow Pipit (heipiplerke)

Østensjøvannet dominant Mute Swan (knoppsvane) who steamed across the lake to see off some intruders 
male Redstart (rødstjert)
a worm eating Redwing (rødvingetrost)
Ring Ouzels (ringtrost)

a pair of Shovelers (skjeand) Østensjøvannet

Swallows (låvesvale)
33 Whimbrels (småspove) migrating north over Maridalen 
7 Whimbrels having a rest in Maridalen

the cold weather causes Willow Warblers (løvsanger) to look for food in strange places

Wood Sandpiper (grønnstilk)

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