Sunday, 27 May 2018

HOT guiding

Yesterday I was guiding Mike and Dee with one specific species in mind: Great Grey Owl. This was a species a long time in the coming for Mike and one I knew how to find for him. The destination was of course Hedmark but the drive went quickly and first decent bird of the day was a Great Grey Owl on the nest! She did not look to be happy in the crazy heat we are experiencing at the moment and I fear for the young when they hatch if the heat continues. Temperatures reached 28C today but with no wind it felt much hotter when in the sun.

After this we had a Hawk Owl perched by what was presumably a nest in an old Black Woodpecker hole and then a Black Woodpecker came and started drumming nearby and then we finished the day with another Great Grey Owl on the nest!

Combine this with a singing Ortolan (heard only), singing Cuckoos, Slavonian Grebe, Red-backed Shrike and the commoner woodland birds including Parrot Crossbill then it was a great day, but boy was it hot!
Despite conditions being clearly suitable for owls there was once again a scarcity of raptors with just a single Kestrel, a brief view of a probably Honey Buzzard and a distant dot that was most likely Goshawk. Given that both GG Owls were breeding on old Buzzard nests it is strange that we didn’t see one!

Great Grey Owl (lappugle) - she seemed to still be incubating so it is a realtively late season
Hawk Owl (haukugle). The same bird in both pics and the presumed nest site in the middle

Red-backed Shrike (tornskate)

my first Fritillary butterfly of the year - a Pearl Bordered (rødflekket perlemorvinge)

And this video is of the other Great Grey Owl nest where the sitting bird was panting in the heat

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