Friday, 14 September 2018

The islands

Well I didn’t do it. Instead of visiting Årnestangen and Nordre Øyeren five days on the trot I decided to visit Oslo’s islands. Mid September must be the best time to find something interesting out there but it is rare that I visit them on what would be the best days weather-wise as I normally prioritise a trip to Årnestangen when the weather looks good (i.e. rain and wind). Today’s trip was far from optimal with a trip out on Monday or Tuesday having been far more likely to produce an interesting wader whilst by today the birds have now had three days without rain in which to move on.

I was not disappointed though and at least nice weather meant I could take some nice photos. Before taking the boat I looked for the King Eider although failed to find him. There are still lots of Common Eiders in the area so he is probably still around and many of the male Commons are coming back into breeding plumage so we can just hope that we will also be able to see the King in a plumage more fitting of his name. A Razorbill though was a sure sign of autumn.

The boat trip out revealed a 1st winter Arctic Tern which is a good Oslo bird and on Gressholmen I chalked up an impressive three species of wader with two young Dunlin showing ridiculously well and a Greenshank and Redshank feeding together. A few Chiffchaffs with slightly strange and exciting calls had me hoping that a Yellow-browed Warbler would turn up but if course it didn’t.

On Lindøya there were still 15 or so Common Terns that were joining Cormorants and large gulls in feeding in a frenzy offshore that was presumably caused by larger predatory fish rounding up a smaller species. Most of the terns were youngsters and they are all fending for themselves now. The juvenile Red-necked Grebe was still present and showed at close range.

On Nakkholmen I had a juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit which is, I think, only my second Oslo record, a Redstart which is a species that always gets my pulse racing and an Osprey that revealed its presence by calling.

Back home I had a garden tick with a long overdue (especially given its name) Garden Warbler. It was feeding on elder berries that normally attract Blackcaps later in the autumn. This year the bush is heaving with berries so will be worth keeping an eye on.

It is only 6 days until I am on Værøy and Tore Berg who is already there had 48 Yellow-browed Warblers and 2 OBPs yesterday so it sounds like it will be good!

juvenile Red-necked Grebe (gråstrupedykker)

juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit (lappspove) with Oystercatcher (tjeld)
a slightly unsual location for both species

Two juvenile/1cy Common Terns (makrellterne)

one of them having a scratch

juvenile Dunlin (myrsnipe) moulting into winter plumage

Greenshank (gluttsnipe) and Redshank (rødstilk)

Osprey (fiskeørn). Andreas Gullberg photographed hte same bird (broken 4th finger on right wing) over his house 50 minutes earlier. Andreas has managed to age as an adult and sex as a male and I believe him but need to do a bit of reading up as I previously have never gone further than ID to species...

Red-breasted Merganser (siland)

Queen of Spain Fritillaries (sølvkåpe) are still going strong

1st winter White Wagtail (linerle)

and an adult already moulting into winter plumage

the garden's first Garden Warbler

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