After we had been in Maridalen yesterday both Hobby and Merlin were seen and at Årnestangen in the evening a juvenile Honey Buzzard passed at close range so yesterday was definitely a good day for migrating raptors. I hoped that today would also be good but it ended up being a bit to cloudy for a big movement I think although I could also have left Maridalen too early in the day. Around four hours in Maridalen gave only 4 Sparrowhawks and a Buzzard but a flock of 29 Cranes heading east was a very pleasant sighting. This species has become noticeably commoner in the 16 years I have lived in Norway and to be honest I think there are too many now. The reason for the increase is apparently less hunting but also a lot of human feeding on wintering and migration sites which has resulted in a high (and unnatural?) survival rate. I think Cranes are fantastic birds but especially when breeding they can take a huge toll on other species whose eggs and chicks they eat.
I found the Whooper Swan family at their breeding site after having failed to see them on my last couple of visits. The young are looking large now and I hope I get to see them taking their flying lessons this year.
|The Whooper Swan (sangsvane) family|
|a nicely posed Reed Bunting (sivspurv)|