Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Recent activity around Oslo

My lack of recent blog posts more reflects a lack of desire to sit in front of a PC rather than a lack of activity.

I have had a few visits to Maridalen plus one to Årnestangen over the last week or so and autumn is starting nicely.

Årnestangen offered up Grey Plover, Temminck's Stint, Spotted Redshank, Marsh Harrier, Honey Buzzard, Red-backed Shrikes and many Ospreys but Maridalen is where my heart is :-)
Despite much of my focus being on the ground due to my growing interest in butterflies, dragon and damselflies I have also noted the expected upturn in raptor sightings in the Dale. A Hobby is being seen daily (or at least when I visit) and I have had 4 sightings of three different Honey Buzzards suggesting two pairs are using the valley for feeding although I suspect the nests are many, many kilometres away. The pair of Common Buzzards in the valley have bred successfully and 3 youngsters are making a lot of noise and practising their flight skills. Sparrowhawks and Ospreys are also a regular sight.
On the passerine front returning Whinchats and Yellow Wagtails are turning up as well as the odd Red-backed Shrike. A Grasshopper Warbler was very unexpected and is only the third non-singing locustella I have seen in Norway.

Butterfly variety is greatly reduced now but Queen of Spain Fritillaries (sølvkåpe) are very numerous with 40 in one field a huge count. There were mating pairs and also a very old and faded individual possibly from the previous generation.
I don't find dragonflies easy and need to get photos of them to ID them. The larger species though just never seem to stop flying! There are a few red coloured Darters appearing and I have found three of the four possible species in Maridalen and I'm searching hard for the last one although must admit to being unsure as to how to ID it (these will need to be the subject of their own post)

There has also been some mammal action with a fox hunting out in the open oblivious to me (see video).

a female Honey Buzzard (vepsevåk) over the forests west of Maridalen

High Brown Fritillary (adippeperlemorvinge)

Wall Brown (sørringvinge) - my first in Oslo


another Honey Buzzard over Maridalen - this one looks like a male

Nutcracker in the garden

Painted Lady (tistelsommerfugl) with two Queen of Spain Fritillaries (sølvkåpe)

the same two QoSF - the one on the right being very old and probably from a previous generation

mating QoSF

it already looks like late autumn! Whinchat (buskskvett) an Willow Warbler (løvsanger)

the Whooper Swan young still have a lot og growing to do

Hobby (lerkefalk) catching insects

same Hobby being chased by a Sparrowhawk
and here the Sparrowhawk chasing a Honey Buzzrd

the same Honey Buzzard later in the day sparring with a Common Buzzard (musvåk) The Honey is on the left in all the shots

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