Thursday, 26 September 2019

Spotted Crake with photos!

The photos from my last day on Værøy will have to wait as I went birding today….. I took the Beast for a walk around Fornebu with a hope of finding a Yellow-browed Warbler which whilst having been relatively scarce on Værøy this year has turned up in relatively large numbers in the south of Norway (3 records around Oslo whilst I was away). Chiffchaffs were calling in many places but otherwise there was little sign of migration and it was pretty quiet.

One thing I always do when at Fornebu is check the bases of the reedbeds in the tidal bays with the hope of seeing something exciting. Birds that I have seen include Water Rail, Common Snipe and Bluethroat but I have always wanted to find Jack Snipe or best of all Spotted Crake. Spotted Crake is regularly seen in similar habitat further south at Presterødkilen and also in the last few years at Linnestranda so should definitely be possible at Fornebu (there is one previous autumn record from August 1988). There are however just a handful of autumn records ever in Oslo and Akershus even though the species is heard singing annually in the spring and early summer and must also breed successfully in some years.

The lack of autumn and sight records generally has a lot to do with Spotted Crake (along with all crakes and rails) being a very secretive species and as far as I can see has not been photographed in Akershus before. My photo of a singing bird at Østensjøvannet is also the only photo I can find from Oslo so I clearly have some luck with this species 😊

Spotted Crake (myrrikse). It was quite gloomy today under an overcast sky and the distance was long which the pictures shows but who cares with such a scarce and secretive species?!

I have aged the bird as a 1cy due to it having a paler throat

from the back

and my picture of an adult at ØStensjøvanney from 15 June 2011 which I am still very proud of

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