Friday, 6 April 2018

First Maridalen Lapwing of the year

What was supposed to be overnight rain that would hasten the thaw ended up being overnight snow but during the day temperatures rose to 9C and with a strong sun there was a net reduction of snow during the day but there is still a lot… At the church ruins in Maridalen I went up to my thigh in “rotten” snow.

Rather fresh northerly winds put a dampener on any migration today but visits to Maridalen and Bygdøy (sound familiar?) racked up my first Buzzard, Kestrel, Rock Pipit (not an annual sighting) and Reed Bunting for Oslo this year and I also had my first migrating Skylarks over Maridalen (over a month later than other years). Highlight though was my first Lapwing in Maridalen this year. I have used the arrival date of this species as a proxy for how late or early the spring is each year. Rather surprisingly this wasn’t the latest ever arrival – in 2011 they arrived a day later but this year’s bird was on a field that had been cleared of snow for horses so was exploiting a habitat that I don’t think has been available in previous years.

Lapwong (vipe) in Maridalen. The very long crest plumes show it to be a male

the Lapwing was exploiting this cleared horse field

the view from the church ruins in Maridalen, stills with lots of snow

Pink-footed Geese over Bygdøy. I had 4 flocks in close succession and thought it would be a big day but everything then stopped probably because the head winds were too strong. Anyone care to count them for me?

I could only find one Purple Sand (fjæreplytt) at Bygdøy today but chose to allow others to get good photos in much better light

a small group of Waxwings (sidensvans) in Maridalen was a surprise and they seemed to be fly catching at times

Yellowhammer (gulspurv)

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