On 13 May I guided Bob and Sharon at the start of a Norwegian road trip which took them up as far north as Gamvik. Yesterday they were back in Oslo at the end of their journey and we had a great days guiding. The initial plan had been to go after some of the late arriving migrants around Oslo but the pull of Hedmark and its special birds became too much. The day started a little rushed when I discovered that I had set my alarm for the pick up time….but I set a new record by getting out of the door in less than 5 minutes and we were soon on track again.
Ortolan Bunting fell easily but 4 males singing at the same place (where I have previously only heard 2) is probably a sign of unpaired males moving arond which is not good for the long term prospects of this species in Norway where it is right at the north west edge of its global range. Four males is probably over 15% of the total Norwegian population!
Next up was Great Grey Owl. We visited a different site to that which I have previously visited as the young there had become so large that I feared they would have moved far from the nest and be difficult to find in the day (although on an evening visit their calls would make them easy to find). The new site was a nest on an artificial platform in a very exposed site that was easy to view from a distance but it was very sunny and hot and the young did not seem to be having a good time in the nest.
After the Great Grey Owl showed so well it was a disappointment not to be able to find a Pygmy Owl but Grey-headed Woodpecker showed well although I was about to give up on them before Sharon saw them and we then saw both male and female visiting the nest hole.
The day ended with an orange-throated flycatcher robin. We did of course see lots of other birds but the lifers were the highlights!