Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Back to normal

 A new week and a new chance to find something suitably rare at Nordre Øyeren.

Yesterday I enjoyed a couple of Hen Harriers, Marsh Harrier and Peregrine as well as the first Great Grey Shrike of the autumn. I again spotted the Great White Egret from the car but the highlight was a Great Snipe that flew up from under my feet and flew in a nice arc around me before landing on the other side of a ditch. I had my scope over one shoulder and camera on the other but unfortunately didn’t even think of trying to lift the camera and just enjoyed the bird in the bins. The extensive white on the tail and especially the white bars on the wing coverts were diagnostic. Unusually (and a first I think for me) it called when flying up (a low, deep grunt). Otherwise there were hardly any waders left despite there being mud – just 5 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plovers.

Today I had the company of Anders BS and we had an even better day. We had three Hen Harriers which we saw together (an adult female and 2 1cy birds) and the two youngsters spent a lot of time playing together and at one stage had the company of two equally playful young Peregrines. The views were a bit too long range (they always appeared where we had been 5 minutes previously) but it was absolutely fantastic watching them. We also had an adult Peregrine, 2 late Ospreys and distant adult White-tailed Eagle, the first Pink-footed Geese of the autumn and most interesting 5 fabalis Bean Geese. I picked them up calling in flight and took a little while to be happy with their identity before they briefly landed before leaving again heading to the south. The last remaining functioning GPS transmitter on the Scottish birds has recently phoned in from the traditional staging grounds further north at Horgen and these 5 birds are quite likely to be from the same population that just lost their way a bit in the bad weather of late.

The highlight of the day though came when we were scanning through the geese at Svellet. The unmistakeable (or nearly so) call of a Yellow-browed Warbler came from an area of willows. Over the course of the next half an hour we heard it three more times but just couldn’t see it (despite use of playback). There were at least 3 Chiffchaffs with easterly calls in the same bushes and a Blackcap also popped up for a couple of seconds but otherwise didn’t call during the whole period. Very frustrating not to see the bird although it was almost an expected species as a few have been turning up inland over the last few days.

Due to an atrocious weather forecast (although it does open up for the chance of a yank) I have postponed and shortened my trip to Værøy so instead of 20-27 Sept it is now 23-28 Sept. The current weather forecast is still not great for that period with too much wind from the wrong directions but I am at least more or less guaranteed seeing a Y-b Warbler 😉

Bar-headed Goose (stripegås) yesterday

juvenile Buzzard (musvåk) yesterday

same bird - I saw it from the car and came a bit too close

and an adult Buzzard in Maridalen yesterday with clear cut dark trailing edge to wing and tail a well moulting primaries 
Great Grey Shrike (varsler) yesterday

Great White Egret (egretthegre)

adult female Hen Harrier (myrhauk) yesterday

1cy Hen Harrier yesterday hunting Common Snipe (enkeltbekkasin)

same 1cy Hen Harrier - probably a female

my first Long-tailed Tit (stjertmeis) in a long time

1cy Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) yesterday
same bird

Osprey (fiskeørn) - another adult male I believe

juvenile Peregrine (vandrefalk)

same bird which looks to be UNringed

the Whooper Swan (sangsvane) family in Maridalen has lost another youngster (from 7 to 4 and now to 3). I have seen a fix in the area and mink but dogs are also a potential cause of the deaths/disappearances
the 2 juvenile Hen Harriers today.
the upper bird was very red in colour (also visible on the upperside). The head pattern of the lower bird looks to be the same as I photographed yesterday

one of the two juveniles, the pale eye shows this to be a male and the other bird seemed larger and was probably a female

adult female Hen Harrier probably the same bird as on previous ays

5 Taiga Bean Geese (taigasædgjås)

Whooper Swan
the Great Grey Shrike today

and a ringed juvenile Peregrine today

Kestrel (tårnfalk) - the qualities of the new camera and lens are very apparant in flight photos like these

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