So, I had set my mind on raptors today with a brief return to southerly winds and sun making this feel like a good option although with the temperature not getting into double figures it was never going to be a great day. As I fell asleep last night I debated in my mind where to go. I discounted Maridalen as it isn’t the best place for Maridalen, considered Østensjøvannet in Ås where I spent some time the last couple of years but settled on going to Nordre Øyeren and setting up store in Snekkervika. As things unfolded this morning though I ended up driving all the way to Hellesjøvannet…
I awoke early when the dog decided to bark before 6am and decided to just get up and out after having heard a Red-throated Diver calling as it flew over the house and a Willow Warbler singing which had me thinking things were afoot.. I quick trip into Maridalen revealed nothing though with not even a R-b Diver on the lake so I decided to head straight for Nørdre Øyeren. First stop was Svellet where the recent rain has now left it looking VERY good with lots of wet areas but still lots of mudflats so it will remain perfect for quite a few days even if they decided to quickly increase water levels. It is still early days but 27 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Redshank, 2 Oystercatcher and 6 Curlew were a good start and in one weeks time these numbers might by higher by a factor of 50! if the Birds Gods are happy with us. A Peregrine also flew over and was noted as the first raptor of the day. It was now that I decided to continue dow the east side of Øyeren and go to Hellesjøvannet rather than driving round to the west side and Snekkervika and remembered some of the good raptors days I have had there including the Red-footed Falcon thatZak and I had on 4 May 2012 – the Force was clearly with us that day.
As I drove I kept hoping for a Red Kite or harrier but had nothing until I got to the north end of Hemnesjøen where there were male and female Marsh Harrier, Osprey and Kestrel and all this before 9am – I was getting excited 😊
A short drive to Hellesjøvannet revealed first a lot of hirdundines feeding over the lake with all three species present. There were few ducks or GC Grebes on the lake but it was the sky I was here to watch. Over the course of the next 3 hours I had at least 4 Marsh Harriers, 9 Common Buzzard, 3 Ospreys, Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Kestrel, White-tailed Eagle and best of all Golden Eagle. It was a fairly good haul but it lacked a real star and as usual for me nothing showed particulary well but I was still a happy man.
On the drive home I added Golden Plover and Little Ringed Plover and ended up with 5 new species for the year (in addition to the two Redshank sp and Sand Martin).
|this pair of Marsh Harriers was displaying and the female was quite noisy|
|the female is distinctive and I have seen a similar bird at Hellesjøvannet before|
|immature White-tailed Eagle (havørn) with a Buzzard for size comparison. With so much moult going on I believe this to be a 3cy|
|the Golden Eagle (kongeørn) was even more distant but also had a Buzzard mobbing it for good size comparison. I believe this to be a 2cy but it probably isn't possible to distinguish it from an older bird|
|first Golden Plover (heilo) of the year|
|and first Little Ringed Plover (dverglo)|
|and first Redshank (rødstilk) together with a Lapwing (vipe)|
|and first Spotted Redshank (sotsnipe) together with a Greenshank (gluttsnipe) on Svellet which is starting to look VERY good|