Thursday, 15 March 2018

Guiding White-back

Yesterday was a marvellous day! It was so sunny that it felt warm, birds sang, I was taken out for (a birding) lunch and guided in the afternoon.

The lunch gave me views of a hunting Peregrine in town, on the way to guiding I enjoyed a few minutes in the sun at Huk where a flock of newly arrived Oystercatcher were calling and one pair even mating, a fine Purple Sandpiper fed amongst them and my first Stock Dove of the year flew over.
I was guiding Ben from Kent via Brussels and our initial target was the Glaucous Gull near Drammen. Unfortunately, this was not to be found despite there being gulls attracted to the ice fishermen but whilst searching I heard a “kik kik” call that sounded a bit off for a Great Spot Pecker and after a bit of searching I was able to confirm my suspicion that it was the White-backed Pecker. We were able to watch it really well as it was extremely focused on finding a grub in the bottom of a small trunk. It would frequently stop and put the side of its head against the tree as though to listen before hacking away, changing position a bit, listening again and then hacking away again. It kept this going for 10 minutes whilst we were there and was still going when we left. The rest of the short guiding session unfortunately did not reveal many more species which is a bit of the problem just now with all the snow and migration not having started – but that will soon change..

male White-backed Woodpecker (hvitryggspett) feeding just over the snow

look at those claws! 
pausing to have a listen - "where is that bug?"

Oystercatcher (tjeld) - a true sight and sound of spring 

and a Purple Sand (fjæreplytt) was amongst them

2cy Peregrine (vandrefalk) downtown Oslo

one of the two male Wigeon (brunnakke) that has wintered in Oslo and this one has paired up with a female Mallard which could have some interesting consequences

the Wigeon in habitat along Akerselva

on Wednesday, Jules Bell and I checked out the conditions at Årnestangen. Snow, snow, more snow and ice just about sums it up

lookin over Snekkervika

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