Thursday, 9 May 2019

Ring-necked Duck!

I checked the weather maps last night and saw that the rain that was forecast was going to come from the south and therefore was not likely to result in the hoped for “fall” as the birds would never reach as far as the Oslo area in the first place and would have fallen much further south. I still had high hopes though and as I headed into Maridalen after having aired the Beast I saw 8 Whimbrel resting on a field in the rain and vibes were good. I had little else though and the Whimbrel used a break in the rain to head north. The lake didn’t appear to hold any interesting ducks with just the usual small flock of Goldeneyes and 4 Tufted Duck which have been around a few days.

I decided to give Årnestangen a go as there was a long pause in the rain forecast which would let me walk out and back without getting soaked and I knew that the water levels had fallen considerably such that there would be some exposed mud. 9 May with rain should be a good day there but as I walked out I didn’t get any great vibes. A few Whimbrel, Greenshank and Wood Sandpipers were around but when I finally got to the end the exposed mud held just a single Little Ringed Plover. Single male Shoveler, 2 male Gadwall and a male Marsh Harrier were the only birds of note and I decided to call it quits for the day. Getting back into Oslo I had to do some shopping and thought I’d check out Maridalen one more time – and thank the Bird Gods I did. It was raining hard by now and I had no intention of getting out of the car so stopped at Kirkeby to check the lake. A small group of ducks were just about to swim out of sight but I got the last one in the bins and surely it was a male Ring-necked Duck? I got my rain jacket on, covered my camera and headed out…. And what do you know? Oslo and Akershus’s first Ring-necked Duck was a reality!! I had bet this would be the next new species for the county in a Facebook competition and had harboured a hope that I would find it in the Dale…

Amazingly enough this is the third new species for Maridalen this year after Mandarin and Bar-tailed Godwit and just highlights the rewards that one can have covering a local patch instead of running around the country.

male Ring-necked Duck (ringand)

I'm not quite sure why it is called Ring NECKED but it sure has lots of rings around the bill

a twitch developed surprisingly quickly and people stood very dangerously on the road (could have been in England!)

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