Monday, 19 June 2017

Hedmark - home away from home

I was up there again! The chance of seeing Great Grey Owls seems too hard to resist and today I had a lot of fun with a Swiss/Indian couple who were on a short stopover in Oslo on their way to Svalbard (it's about time that I also visited Svalbard!). Today we had a fabulous experience with three youngsters who had all left the nest plus a shy adult keeping a watchful eye on them and us. Great Grey Owls are definitely a bird that it is difficult to get too much of although as with Hawk Owl I think the next goal is to be able to follow a hunting bird and study its technique. Two of the owlets had moved over 100 metres from the nest and were 10 metres up in a tree whereas the third and smaller youngster was only about 20 metres from the nest and still on the ground. Looking back to last Thursday when I was there and only saw with certainty one youngster in the nest it is likely that the other two had already left whereas the third and smallest youngster has probably only hopped out within the last 24 hours.

With the distances involved and time constraints there was precious little time for other birding but we did see Rough-legged Buzzard, Redstart, Bullfinch, Crane and a pair of Slavonian Grebes with three small youngsters. Interestingly one of the adults was paying close attention to the largest of the young but another small youngster was repeatedly chased away and even attacked by the adult which grabbed it by the neck. The third youngster wisely was keeping to itself on the edge of some reeds. Luckily the other adult was actively feeding all three youngsters whilst its mate only seemed to care about the single youngster.

Great Grey Owl (lappugle) - the smallest youngster 
Great Grey Owl - watchful adult

I've got mates who look like this after a heavy night ;-)

this youngster and presumably the other two is lucky enough to have been man handled in the name of science

adult Slavonian Grebe (horndykker) with the preferred youngster

the smaller youngster on the left was repeatedly pushed away

this enormous steaming turd is I believe the closest I have ever come to wild bear

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