On Saturday I took Angus and Denise to see the Bean Geese down in Østfold. Angus has been following the geese for 20 odd years on their Scottish wintering grounds (see his blog) and finally came over to see them in Norway.
We saw a minimum of 35 birds with 5 collars read but there were probably more as they were in small groups alternating between the river and field. The area also held lots and lots of other birds with Gadwall, Pintail, 800 Pink-feet, 500 Whoopers, Hen Harrier, Merlin, Goshawk, Kestrel, Buzzard and Snow Bunting amongst others.
Whilst we were in Østfold there was quite a bit going on closer to home and this morning I got to enjoy some of that action plus cause a little twitch myself. I finally saw and as hoped self-found STONECHAT in Norway!! It was a very shy bird that was very skilled in disappearing and it took a long while before I got a photo of it.
But there was lots else to see whilst I tried to get that important photo. A male Black Redstart found yesterday was still present and even singing, a female type Pied Wagtail was amongst White Wags and Snow Bunting, all 6 thrush species including my first Ring Ouzel of the year, Twite, Chiffchaff, Wheatears, flocks of migrating Pink-footed Geese plus lots of other birds all made for one of those fantastic April days that live long in the memory :-)
As regular readers of this blog will remember Stonechat was one of two Norwegian breeding species that I have not seen in Norway, with the other being Leach’s Petrel. Stonechat has been a bit of a bogey bird for me so to find one near Oslo where it is super rare was good!
The bird had a surprisingly large white rump that could lead thoughts towards Siberian Stonechat but I don’t see any other features pointing that way although the important underwing was not seen or photographed properly.
|Male Stonechat (svartstrupe) at Fornebu! A self-found Norwegian tick|
|male Black Redstart (svartrødstjert)|
|female type Pied Wagtail (svartryggerle). The black rump and very dusky flanks are very good Pied (vs. White) characters but it the back dark enough for a pure bird?|
|male Hen Harrier (myrhauk)|