Monday, 10 September 2018

10 Raptors!

This weekend has seen lots of rain interspersed with sunshine and southerly winds. You would have thought that loads of birders would have been out in these wonderful conditions but unsurprisingly they was hardly any birder activity around Oslo although records elsewhere indicated that quite a few Pallid Harriers had finally arrived in southern Norway. This meant that when I headed out to Årnestangen this morning I had no idea what may be waiting for me, but I had high expectations!
The walk out which was well timed for exactly when the heavy rain stopped gave Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, Kestrel, Goshawk and Cuckoo and waders in the air so my expectations were not at all dampened. At the tip there was a flock of over 700 Teal and 41 Pintail flew into join them which is a big flock in these parts. The wind made viewing difficult but there were lots of Dunlin to go through – at least 300 with birds arriving regularly. Amazingly enough single Sanderling, Curlew Sand and 2 Knots were the only spice amongst them with no stints at all.
Raptors continued to show with a flyby by an adult Hen Harrier and later 2 juveniles laying with a juvenile Peregrine. At least 2 Ospreys, a Buzzard and the sub ad White-tailed Eagle that has been here a few weeks also added to show. I was quite sure that if I just kept looking hard enough that I would find a Pallid but yet again no luck!

Svellet also held a lot of waders with over 100 Dunlin, 40 Ringed Plovers, 3 Sanderling and a Little Sint which caused me a lot of head scratching and made me drive around to the other side to get a closer look before I confirmed its ID. This resulted in me seeing Sparrowhawk and Hobby though, so I finished on 10 raptor species (and with a number of individuals rathern than one of each) which has been a goal recently (as far as I can remember it equals my previous day record) although I felt that I should have had far more….
Amongst all the Barnacle and Greylag Geese that load around on the mudbanks in Svellet the hybrid Cackling x Barnacle Goose that I had previously seen at Bygdøy was also present. At the long ranges that Svellet offers it would have been very easy to call the bird as a Cackling Goose so it was lucky I had previously seen it at closer range and knew which feature to look for.

Tomorrow I will find the Pallid and if not then it is only 10 days until Værøy 2018 starts and this year I have a whole week on the magical island.

the adult female Hen Harrier (myrhauk) and with such a pale eye probably an old bird

the Cackling x Barnacle Goose hybrid. At this range it is difficult to see the hybrid features

Cuckoo (gjøk)
geese over Fet Church. It will soon be time to go looking for the Taiga Beans although the only transmitter still sending is still on the breeding gounds in Sweden

the two juvenile Hen Harriers. There was a noticeable size difference implying a male and a female although I initially hoped I was looking at two different species

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