Tuesday, 30 April 2019


I had a chance to start early  today and eventually decided to get up at 6am after having woken at 0515 but thinking that was too early. My plan had been to go to Maridalen but a message from Bjørn Olav that 2 Red-necked Grebes were offshore from Fornebu made me change my plans. I dropped breakfast as I know that birds soon disappear from the fjord as they get driven off by boats. I was on site at 0615 and soon found them a good way out swimming purposefully towards Bygdøy. I quickly decided to head there as the chance of close views of summer plumaged Red-necked Grebe is not to be missed. I took a slight detour to Storøykilen but a whole minute of waiting did not reveal either the Grasshopper Warbler or Corncrake which was discovered singing yesterday evening.
Arriving at Huk, a pair of Great Crested Grebes flew by, the Red-neckeds were on the sea and a Slavonian was with some Goldeneye. The Red-neckeds were not as close as I hoped although definitely within Oslo territorial waters ;-).
I also heard and then saw a Whimbrel, a Common Tern was fishing offshore and there were still 6 Purple Sands on the rocks. It was very birdy!! Soon though a couple of "pleasure" boats shot past and all the interesting birds vanished.

Time to head to Maridalen then but here there was not much to see at all in the way of migrants. Breeding birds were better though with Three-toed and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. There was also action from the Whooper Swans.
The new pair has still not given up its hope of breeding in the Dale and today was at the traditional breeding site whilst the traditional pair was down on the main lake. They then returned to the breeding site and saw off the intruders with a lot of noise and proud wing flapping. All this rivalry seems to have delayed breeding and it would be possible for both pairs to breed but the traditional pair just seems too concerned with keeping the whole valley too itself that they have forgotten what they should really be focusing on now: nest building.

the distant view of the Red-necked Grebes (gråstrupedykker) from Fornebu as they swam towards Bygdøy

and 25 minutes later from Bygdøy

not often you see them in flight

with the buildings of Fornebu in the background

and a Slavonian Grebe (horndykker) with a Goldeneye (kvinand) - honestly!

female Three-toed Woodpecker - the deformed toes on the right foot show this to be the same female that bred last year. More to come on this bird and her mate later

male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett)

female top and male bottom

close up of the female

Purple Sandpipers (fjæreplytt) now coming into summer plumage

my first Whimbrel (småspove) of the year

another Adder - this time a young(ish) female

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