My recent radio silence has been due to a non-birding family retreat to Trysil. The snows haven’t come yet so we enjoyed ourselves hiking in very warm and unexpected October sunshine. I did of course have expectations to bump into some half decent birds in the forests and mountains but saw hardly anything. Not a single raptor or owl of any description, no woodpeckers, Siberian Jays or interesting finches or passerines. In fact the only bird worth mentioning was a roadside male Capercaillie from the car on the way home which showed really well but of course the camera was in the boot.
Oslo also had nice sunny weather today but it was cold and the first frost will surely come soon. Maridalen delivered a good autumn days birding though. The Great White Egret was last seen on Saturday but the first (if small) movement of ducks was evident with 4 Common Scoter, 6 Goosander, 6 Goldeneye, a Red-breasted Merganser and a Tufted Duck on the lake today. A few Greylag were also on the lake and the Whooper Swan family is still in the valley along with some Mallard so actually a good wildfowl day.
A Jack Snipe in snipe marsh was the first sighting in Oslo this year and looked to be new in with no tracks or droppings to be seen. There were lots of finches flying around and amongst a small flock of Common Redpolls I had a pale northern, aka Arctic bird – one of those flying snowballs. Five Parrot Crossbills flying north were the first I have had in southern Norway this autumn but there is a serious influx occurring with birds all along the coast (including Værøy when I was there) and birds have also crossed the North Sea to Scotland.
Buntings were only represented by Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting but I reckon I can pull a Lapland or even better a Little Bunting out of the bag over the next few weeks. There were small flocks of Redwings and Fieldfares feeding on rowan berries and a Mistle Thrush was a rare autumn sighting.
There was no movement of raptors but I did have three Goshawk and single of Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk.
|Jack Snipe (kvartbekkasin) - in typical style it flew up at very close range on weak wings before landing again not very far away|
|Whooper Swan (sangsvane) family|