Friday, 19 May 2017

Something big is about to happen

17 May is Norway’s national day and is not a day that a farther of young children can expect to fit any birding in to. None the less I did have a house tick in the form of a Collared Dove seen from the kitchen window feeding in the next door garden – I have had the species close to the house before but this is the first time I can remember seeing one from the house.

Yesterday saw me a bit here and a bit there. I visited Svellet hoping for a last chance for some waders but the water was rising very fast and all mud and ALL waders had vanished. A couple of Little Gulls, a pair of Gadwall and a migrating Rough-legged Buzzard (they should have passed through by now and Honey Buzzards should be coming now) were the highlights.

Maridalen had at least 80 Yellow Wagtails and 30 Wheatears which is a very good fall.

Today I decided to visit Gressholmen (Oslo wader hot spot #1) as there was a lot of rain yesterday and some last night. I did not have lots of waders but 6 species in the bay is very good by local standards. A fine summer plumaged Dunlin was the highlight until a male and female Ruff dropped in beside him. They showed very well before heading off nearly as quickly as they arrived.

A flyover Red-throated Pipit gave itself away by calling (and I have now heard enough Tree Pipits this year to be confident with the call). I tried pishing and it did circle me a couple of times before going down on a small vegetated island. I tried to see it from some distance but failed to.

I had hoped for some seabirds over the fjord and did have a lot of migrating Velvet Scoters with 5 flocks totalling 225 birds which is a significant number. I tried to find something rarer amongst them but failed (there is currently a male King Eider in the Oslo Fjord which is pushing the bounds of tickable views for those trying to see it). A flock of 13 Red-throated Divers also tried to migrate north before turning round and heading out the fjord.

A pair of Shoveler on the sea from the ferry was a strange sighting but evidence that migration is in full swing and anything can turn up anywhere.

I also managed a quick trip into Maridalen where I saw the Carrion Crow that was first seen 3 days ago. A Maridalen tick I have not worried too much about this bird as I am sure its species status in Norway will soon disappear. Yesterday Halvard photographed a Rook in Maridalen so I began to be wonder about the ID of the Carrion (the pictures were not very detailed) and the two bird theory seemed unlikely (Rook being less than annual). It took me quite a long time to be happy that the bird I was watching to today was a Carrion Crow but that seems most definitely to be the case so the Two Bird Theory does sometimes turn out to be true.

As I was writing this I got a message from Halvard that there was a male Scaup on Maridalsvannet. 15 minutes later and I was having cracking views of it!

Today has been an excellent day around Oslo (for others) with King Eider, Montagu’s Harrier, Golden Oriole, Bee-eater and Black Kite. What will tomorrow bring?

male Scaup (bergand) Maridalensvanney 
a suggestion of paler feathering around the bill may indiacte a 2cy

male and female Ruff (brushane), 2 Ringed Plover (sandlo) and a Dunlin (myrsnipe) on Gressholmen 
the two Ruff

a view over the fjord where a mist hang all morning

unexpeced Shoveler (skjeand) 
the 225 Velvet Scoters (sjøorre)

Carrion Crow (svartkråke) in Maridalen

the Dunlin on Gressholmen
yesterdays Gadwall (snadderand)

2cy Little Gull (dvergmåke)
and Rough-legged Buzzard (fjellvåk)

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