Friday, 23 March 2018

Less Beans

Yesterday saw lovely blue skies, no wind, dry air and temperatures just below zero whilst today was cloudy, misty, rainy and temperatures were hovering just above zero. Neither day did much to encourage migration but yesterday’s un and todays rain has caused the thaw to start although temperatures are forecast to fall below -10C next week so we will still have to be patient in our wait for spring.
Yesterday I returned to the Glomma River. Only 55 Taiga Beans were now present, and I would not be surprised if the other 23 from yesterday have returned to Denmark. There were now lots of droppings on the ice which were absent yesterday and help confirm that the birds did arrive yesterday morning. The geese were frequently up on the ice picking at something – whatever it was too small for me to see and I wonder if they were eating insects. Whatever it is they will surely lose weight until they can start feeding on the fields which may be in over a week?

I visited other sites on the river and found Slavonian Grebes, Long-tailed Duck and Scaup along with my first two migrating Wigeon of the year but there was no viz mig to witness.

In the evening Per Christian and I went owling. It was perfect conditions in that it was windless and with temperatures “only” dropping to -4C it was actually quite comfortable to be out. We had a very good start with 5 singing Tengmalm’s Owls in the first 2-3 kilometres but then after this we had nothing. I had hoped to be able to get some good photos of a Tengmalm’s but despite our best efforts we only observed one in flight in the light of our torches and never managed to see it perched.

Today I visited Bygdøy and Fornebu where Greylag numbers are slowly building up and a flock of 22 was on a snow-covered field feeding under a large tree where the snow had melted. Small flocks of Starlings at both sites were the only real sign of passerine migration and a couple of birds were singing and mimicking other birds including Redwing which did suddenly transport me into the spring until they flew off and I abruptly returned to winter.

the sun was shining on the ice. The Taiga Beans can be seen on the ice 

there were only 3 ringed birds. One had a neck collar : 7U who I first saw here in March 2014. One had a green leg ring having lost it GPS collar and can be identified as 10 who I also first saw here in March 2014. The third bird only has a metal leg ring having lost its neck collar and unfortunately cannot be identified.

what are they picking at?

"7U" can just about be seen in this picture

here is the single Pink-footed Goose (kortnebbgås) that is together with the Beans and which acted as those it maybe paired with one of the Beans

Whooper Swas (sangsvane)
three Slavonian Grebes (horndykker)

Greylag Geese that have found the only snow free ground at Bygdøy

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