Both yesterday and today I have seen a nice selection of raptors and we are now entering that brief period of raptor abundance around Oslo when the local youngsters are on the wing and the first migrants are moving through.
Yesterday I was guiding Steve and Ann from Blighty and we visited Årnestangen and Maridalen. High water levels meant that there were hardly any waders at Årnestangen but raptors more than compensated. We had 4 different Marsh Harriers (no juveniles yet), Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzard, Osprey, a young Peregrine mobbing one of the harriers, Merlin, Sparrowhawk and best of all an adult and juvenile Hobby that were hunting a Swallow with breath taking agility right over our heads. As a sign of the relative abundance of raptors at the moment I also had Osprey and Peregrine over the house!
Today I visited Hellesjøvannet where I had Marsh Harrier, Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzard, Osprey, Hobby, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk so nine species of raptor in the last two days isn’t bad going.
Red-backed Shrikes and especially Whinchats are also numerous at the moment suggesting both species have had a good breeding season. Willow Warblers and hirundines are not that numerous though and there are also very few insects which may be related - no mosquitos and absolutely no dead insects on the windscreen when driving. Dragoflies also seem to be far less numerous than in previous years.
|This Honey Buzzard (vepsevåk) that flew over Hellesjøvanet s carrying part of a wasps nest in its talons and would have been on its way to the nest. Looks to be a male|
|Hellesjøvannet must be the best place in the whole of Norway for Pochard (taffeland). Today there were 86 birds of which only 7 were females|
|a female Black Darter (svart høstlibelle) in Maridalen. Last year there were hundreds on the wing, today I had just 6|
|and a male|
|5 Black-throated Divers on Maridalsvannet yesterday. There is also a pair with two well grown young on the lake and also upto three Red-throated Divers|