Regular blog updates must mean I am getting back in the flow and that there are birds to blog about.
I haven’t been out to Årnestangen for a bit as water levels have been high with very little mud exposed but a check of the relevant website showed that water levels had fallen by around 30cm over the last 4 days (it always amazes me how fast the water levels can both rise and fall in a delta covering 55km2).
There was still not a vast amount of mud but too much and it becomes difficult to make out what is out there. There were waders though and one of my remaining bogey year birds fell with 6 Little Stints present. Curlew Sandpiper still has to wait though. Three Turnstone, a Sanderling and a Temminck’s Stint were the scarcest birds among 40 Dunlin and 30 Ringed Plovers. Raptors were very thin on the ground with the undoubted highlight being a young Hen Harrier that showed well enough to dispel any hopes of something rarer.
Duck numbers and variety are starting to build up and a Shoveler and two Pintail new in.
A quick stop in Maridalen gave me a young Bluethroat showing very well and a Honey Buzzard. My comment on Thursday that they clearly hadn’t bred in the area was followed by my sighting on Friday, Halvard H seeing and photographingone on Saturday and then this bird today (I need to find some other good birds to write negatively about...). Based on plumage all three sighting could very well relate to the same adult (a female?) which then does suggest that there is successful breeding in the area and that this bird in looking for food for large youngsters in the nest. I have read a couple of comments that this is a bad breeding year for Honey Buzzards and that those with young in the nest still have surprisingly small birds so it could be that we will have more frequent HB sightings over the next couple of weeks.
|1cy Bluethroat (blåstrupe) - I've aged it due to the paler tips to the greater coverts|
|juvenile Hen Harrier (myrhauk) aged by the darker secondaries|
|here with something that wasn't edible|
|note how depending on the picture the secondaries can really change in appearance|
|...showing that trusting single photos can often be risky|
|Honey Buzzard (vepsevåk)|