Saturday, 7 September 2019

Wild Goose Chasing

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am not averse to a wild goose chase. Usually I like to be equipped with a recent GPS position to narrow the scope of the chase but yesterday I went chasing with no more recent info than my own sighting on Wednesday. I checked the field where I had had my Beans on Wednesday but they were not here. The nearby turf fields were still attractive to waders though with now 5 Lapwings, 2 Ruff and a Ringed Plover. I then went to the favoured peat bog which resulted in wet feet, no geese and spookily few birds generally although a fly over Lapland Bunting was a big bonus. I then checked two other favoured fields and had to conclude that they were feeding somewhere else (there after all a lot of fields in the area even if the geese are normally quite traditional in their choices).

I had seen quite a few Kestrels during the day and my hope of finding a more interesting raptor this autumn was still very much alive and I though the viewpoint at Udenes Church would offer a good chance. Arriving I had another Kestrel which confirmed by hopes and then upon getting out of the car I heard a goose honk! The Beans were on the river and a series of counts revealed 144 birds so a significant increase on Wednesday’s number. I was too far away to be able to read any collars but thought I could count the number of collared birds and would therefore at least know if there were any new ones. I only managed to find 3 with collars though (5 on Wednesday) and am quite sure I would have seen all the birds that had them so that strongly suggests that some of Wednesday’s birds were absent from this flock. I could see two birds with GPS collars and later when the GPS sender on “30” sent in an update I could see he was there and that they had just previously been feeding on one of the fields I had checked. It is very unusual for them to use the river in the autumn when high water levels mean the sandbank they use in the spring is not available but they seemed quite at home on the water during the hour I watched and some were also feeding by upending.

I did also have raptors from the watchpoint with a number of Kestrels, Common Buzzards and a Honey Buzzard.

one of 11 Kestrels (tårnfalk) I saw during the day. Most were hunting from wires over recently harvested fields and probably for insects

surprise of the day - a fly over Lapland Bunting (lappspurv)

The Taiga Bean Geese (sædgjess) distantly on the river Glomma

Cuckoo (gjøk)

even at long range the jizz and plumage allows this 1cy Honey Buzzard (vepsevåk) to be identified

although the differences to Common Buzzard (musvåk) - pictured above - are small

on Thursday I photographed this Migrant Hawker / septemberlibelle / aeshna mixta in Maridalen making it the nothernmost record ever in Norway. I had suspected its presence over a week ago but hadn't managed any photos

The Whooper Swans (sangsvane) are still in Maridalen despite having failed in this years breeding attempt

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