Sunday, 29 July 2018

Back in Oslo

I’m now back in Oslo where temperatures and humidity are almost unbearable. I have lots of experiences from the summer holiday that I need to blog about and hopefully will do so in due course but first off a post from today in Oslo.

I was keen to check out Maridalen this morning and braved the heat. I was hoping for large areas of exposed mud on the lake but amazingly the water level was higher than 3 weeks ago. This despite record temperatures and next to no rain. There have been water restrictions in Oslo but how on earth can the water level rise when there are just two streams feeding the lake? Bird wise I had a pair of Common Rosefinch making a lot of noise and their behaviour strongly suggested young nearby but I failed to find them. A young Red-backed Shrike was also being mobbed by a variety of other passerines.

Everything was so brown and there were very few flowers left and butterflies were in short supply with Queen of Spain Fritillary being the most numerous. This species is clearly expanding as a result of the recent warm summers – I had the first record in Oslo as recently as August 2016 and today it was the commonest species I saw!

Highlight of the day was reserved for the garden where a female Brown Hairstreak showed really well. This is only the 3rd time I have seen this rare butterfly and the first time in Oslo.

female Brown Hairstreak (slåpetornstjertvinge)

female Common Rosefinch (rosenfink)

male Common Rosefinch

young Red-backed Shrike (tornskate) and the male Rosefinch

the Whooper Swan (sangsvane) family in Maridalen is down to 4 young (from 7) which is unusual for this pair who normally have raised large broods.

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