Thursday, 30 May 2019

Non-stop Guiding

It is full on guiding at the moment and I was out yesterday and today and will be guiding again tomorrow. If only every week was this busy!

Yesterday afternoon I guided Robin and Geoff from California and we spent the whole time in Maridalen. Despite being sunny it was quite windy and noticeably chilly but bird activity was high. This morning I guided Stephen from Maryland around Fornebu. It rained the whole time but bird activity was surprisingly high and both sessions were undoubted successes.

Maridalen delivered my closest ever views of Icterine Warbler, plus Rosefinch, Black Woodpecker, Osprey, Goshawk, Hobby, Hawfinch, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, Bullfinch, Sand Martin and much more. Fornebu tried hard to be just as good and amongst around 50 species we had amazing views of singing Thrush Nightingale, plus singing Cuckoo (very unusual here), Pheasant, Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers, Eider Ducks, Redshank and various warblers.

I have never before seen an Icterine Warbler (gulsanger) this well. Normally they are high up in a tree with leaves of the same colour and leave you with a sore neck and some poor views.

I would normally have been very happy with this picture

and delighted with this one :-)
it has whiskers and a nostril!
when it was singing it really puffed itself up revealing the dark bases to the feathersand even skin. Notice also the noticeable divide on the chest which I assume is a sign it has large muscles either side of the ribs
back lit photos are apparantly artistic :-)

this Osprey (fiskeørn) flew over and the white underwing coverts show it to be a male. Presumably from a pair breeding further in the forest where the female is on the nest

back lit Common Rosefinch (rosenfink) doesn't work so well
but fully lit works just fine

this Sand Martin (sandsvale) in Maridalen was where they have attempted to breed between the rocks supporting a bridge. Hopefully there will be successful breeding this year

Swallows breed under the same bridge and this bird was perched under us

A handheld video of the Thrush Nightingale taken with the bazooka but with image stabilisation in the editing on the PC isn't too shaky and the sound is to be enjoyed!

Thrush Nightingale singing in the rain

lighting heavily adjusted
Thrush Nightingales have become establised at Fornebu in the last three years with upto three singing males. They arrived very late this year with the first record on 21 May compared to 6 May in 2018. Such a difference in arrival dates is quite surprising but the late (main) arrival was mirrored at other sites.

this male Pheasant (fasan) at Fornebu is part of a tiny population (just 1 pair?) in the area that has persisted for decades but it is unknown whether birds are still being released

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