At some point early this morning I awoke and heard a Willow Warbler singing outside – a sure sign of migration and when I woke up properly and looked up it was cloudy and there had clearly been some rain overnight – a very promising sign! The signs though were a bit misleading. I didn’t start very early and went first up into the Dale. The water level in the lake is extremely high and there will be very waders here this spring unfortunately. The fields had a lot of birds – 500 Wood Pigeons feeding on seed the farmer had hoped would germinate and provide him an income. There were also 6 Wheatears and a Whinchat which was sign of an arrival. I heard a Red-throated Diver flying over and then shortly afterwards had a Great Crested Grebe fly over me which is an extremely unusual sight! It felt like things were happening and I then received a message that a Great White Egret had just flown over Østensjøvannet. Another sign!
I felt it would be best to head to Nordre Øyeren again although was a bit worried that the cloud was clearing and that too much sun would make viewing difficult. When I arrived at Merkja I saw Rune and stopped rather than continuing to Svellet which had been my initial plan. As we spoke it was clear that the sun was going to break through which would make it very difficult at Svellet. I decided to have a scan of Merkja before heading off and just as well because there was a Black-tailed Godwit! A rare bird in these parts it also looked to be of the subspecies limosa rather than the more regularly encountered (at least in autumn) islandica. We decided that we would come back to this bird and headed the short distance to Svellet. The water level had risen a touch from yesterday but there was still enormous areas of mud and shallow water but where were the birds? In the end we found just 8 Oystercatcher, 7 Curlew, 4 Greenshank, 2 Ruff and about 200 distant Teal resting in one corner. Had a raptor scared everything off or is there just little food? At this time of the year everyday should bring more birds so time will tell.
Tuentangen offered up three Garganey but little else and raptors were restricted to just Kestrel and Sparrowhawk with a pair of Kestrel looking to be breeding in an old crows nest on an electricity pylon.
|Black-tailed Godwit (svarthalespove)|
|the extensive grey in the plumage and long bill suggest it is of the subspecies limosa|
|there is some barring on one of the tertials|
|Kestrels on a pylon next to what I assume to be an old crows nest|
|a surprise Peregine (vandrefalk) in Maridalen|
|Ring Ouzel (ringtrost) in Maridalen|
|5 Wheatears (steinskvett) on favoured stones in Maridalen|
|and a close up of one of the females|
|and a smart male Whinchat (buskskvett)|
|this adult female? Goshawk was hunting Wood Pigeons which after an unsuccesful hunt settled in the same tree as her|
|the same bird looking to be very sturdy (i.e female)|
|this bird flew over at the same time and appears smaller and is probably her mate|
|flyover Great Crested Grebe (toppdykker) - first time I can remember seeing one above me!|
|Black-throated Divers (storlom) often congregate in groups although I'm not sure why|
|three Garganey (knekkand) and a Teal (krikkand)|