Friday, 25 May 2018

Nocturnal outings and Hazel Grouse

A nocturnal trip to Maridalen on Wednesday night revealed Woodcock and Snipe but nothing more interesting. It would appear that another 3 birders were also out during the course of the night and it seemed I missed a Marsh Warbler and lots of Tawny Owls (I have yet to note this species in 2018!).

On Thursday I biked a but around Oslo and failed to find Black Redstart even though one seems to have settled down at last years breeding site. A flyover Hobby here though was a good bird. I found a singing Icterine Warbler just a stone’s throw from the house which is a god urban record but found no House Martins at a colony that has seemed to decline year for year and maybe now is over. It is possible though that the extremely hot weather we are having has meant that nest building is impossible and they may just be waiting for rain or else have moved elsewhere (there are quite a few in Maridalen).

In the evening Per Christian went out for our first proper nocturnal trip of the year. It is still early in the season but the very hot weather which is forecast to continue should be good for bringing in birds. We started in Østfold where a Bittern has been present a while and this was booming already when we arrived at 20:15. The reedbeds here were not extensive at all and we thought we might actually see it but gave up after an hour. We did have a singing Wryneck nearby (only my third record in 2018) but no raptors in the area – I had expected to see Hobby and Honey Buzzard.

Working our way back to Oslo we had 3 Marsh Warblers, 2 Thrush Nightingales, 2 Nightjars singing together, a Corncrake and finally in Maridalen a Tawny Owl. With three Moose this must go down as a successful start to the season. The Corncrake and Nightjars were particularly pleasing as they were at close range and could really be heard well although my attempts at recording them have ended up in the recycle bin.

Today had me walking in the hills above Maridalen searching for Hazel Grouse and I succeeded with good views of a male but I had no repeat of my Greenish Warbler discovery of last year. Wood Warblers have also finally made it into Maridalen so maybe things are just delayed. There was also a Marsh Warbler singing in Maridalen which we had not heard around midnight and most likely arrived in the early hours.

male Hazel Grouse (jerpe)

I never manage to get the sharp, well lit photo I hope for because they are always in the shade of the forest and give you only a few seconds before they whir off

Black Woodpecker (svartspett)

male Reed Bunting (sivspurv)

an old male Common Rosefinch (rosenfink)

It also looks like 2018 will be a good year for butterflies and today I had my first Green Hairstreaks and Holly Blue plus Camberwell Beauty, Comma and Speckled Wood.

Green Hairstreak (grønnstjertvinge)

Holly Blue (vårblåvinge)

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