Thursday, 3 May 2018

May may be warming up

We are finally getting somewhere. A slightly warmer day with southerly winds, low cloud and rain in the afternoon seems to have done the trick.

I went into Maridalen with high expectations of finding lots of new birds both on the lake and on the fields but was initially very disappointed. The lake was dead calm and seemed birdless other that some Black-throated Divers and a single Greenshank (the first of the year) sitting on a rock (water levels are very high at the moment). The fields at Kirkeby held a lot of Meadow Pipits and three Wheatears but this was no more than to be expected. I carried onto Nes and three Whimbrels resting on rocks was a nice site and the first of the year in Oslo but there was still no sign or sound of any other birds. A few Common Sandpipers were displaying very noisily and I spent some time with them before continuing further and then things happened! I suddenly saw and then heard resting birds on the waters edge ahead of me. I tried to avoid being seen but it was too late and they exploded into the air. 10 Greenshank, over 20 Teal and over 30 Tufteds and then a pair of Shoveler! As far as I can remember this is only the fourth record of Shoveler here.

Birds went in all directions and I saw most of them later but it always gives me a bad conscience when I disturb resting birds like that.
Further scanning of the lake revealed 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, the Mute Swan pair, an Osprey, a Pink-footed Goose, nesting Canada Geese and a pair of Barnacles that have not started nesting yet but probably will soon. Some interesting behaviour I noted was when a Black-throated Diver came up right underneath a Red-breasted Merganser seemingly intentionally and scared the sh*t out of the duck.

The fields also started to produce with two male Redstarts and a female Whinchat.

Shovelers (skjeand) in Maridalen!

displaying Common Sandpipers (strandsnipe) 

male Red-breasted Merganser (siland)

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