Today saw a very enjoyable trip with Rune Z to the dark forests of Aurskog Høland and Nes. We had an endless list of exciting forest species that we hoped to see but as is often the case were left a bit disappointed. On the way we stopped at the fields at Haneborg which had surprisingly little snow with stubble and dark earth visible. We speculated on there being Snow Buntings and opened the car doors to immediately hear Snow Bunting! We located just a single bird that flew over before landing in a distant field but it felt like a good start.
Once in the forests we started to struggle. From the car and at the occasional stop we found pretty much nothing. A Hawk Owl showed very well but we were expecting to see that particular bird (it was reported yesterday) although I will never complain if I get a dose of Hawkie no matter how it is administered. There have been a few records of Hawk Owls this winter which I hope relate to birds that may well stay to breed as the records are from forest areas rather than agricultural areas. I am really looking forward to owling trips later in February where the chance of hearing Hawk Owls along with Tengmalm’s, Pygmy, Great Grey and who knows maybe Ural is already getting my pulse up.
A Black Woodpecker flew over the road and Willow and Crested Tits were frequently heard. After forests we headed south to look for the Kingfisher which Rune had yet to see this year. We had a Great Grey Shrike along the way but little else and didn’t have a single raptor the whole day. The Kingfisher took a bit of work but finally gave itself up and eventually flew up and down the river calling.
|Great Grey Shrike (varsler)|
|Cormorant of the subspecies sinensis was looking at home alongside the Kingfisher|