Monday, 5 March 2018

NSKF in Tangen

Friday to Sunday was spent at Tangen, Kjell Mjølsnes’s house which (as I have written many times before) must be the best birding house in Norway. The occasion was the spring NSKF meeting and as usual the meeting was scheduled for a time of the year when the birding would be so poor that we would manage to do NSKF work instead of being out birding. And it worked – we were very hard working and on Saturday did not even leave the house although there is always something to see from the windows….

What we can see from the windows is fascinating though. Two Woodcock were often to be seen feeding on the lawn (something I have only ever observed from Kjell’s living room), Hen Harriers flew by, a male Smew and Scaup could be seen from the viewing platform on Kjell’s barn and very close by were flocks of geese and swans.

We did manage some other birding on the way to and from the airport and Black-throated Thrush and male Steller’s Eider were twitched. I had hoped to finally see Stonechat in Norway but a pair of birds that had been wintering in the area were not to be found and had probably perished as the Europe wide cold spell had left its mark even here although surprisingly there was no snow. Passerines of any kind were incredibly scarce and Lapwings that had previously been in the area had also disappeared and there were no signs of spring. Woodcocks were also seen in a number of places other than Kjell’s garden which is a sure sign of how difficult conditions had become for them and desperate they were.

Here are videos of Woodcock (rugde) , Black-throated Thrush (svartstrupetrost) and Steller's Eider (stellerand):

male Black-throated Thrush - this bird has been hanging out on this manure pile for a few months and seems very at home

Long-tailed Duck (havelle)

arctic conditions

Orrevatnet as viewed from Kjell's barn had just a few small area of open water where this male Smew (lappfiskand) had sought refuge

this male Steller's Eider is a rare bird in SW Norway and was a big surprise 
 Tundra (rossicus) Bean Goose (sædgås) with Greylags

one of two Woodcock forced into looking for worms on Kjell's lawn in the middle of the day. The large eye is because this bird is normally nocturnal. Here it had been scared by an oerflying Sparrowhawk and had frozen

they feed very actively and are constanly digging into the ground looking for worms

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