Monday, 31 August 2020

Mushrooms and wildlife in the Dale

 A walk in Maridalen with Mrs OB and the Beast yesterday had the goal to find and pick chanterelle mushrooms which we were successful with (people keep their sites secret and we have now found a few sites which nobody else seems to know about). The mushrooms will be fried in butter along with bacon and enjoyed this evening.

I, of course, don’t go for a walk in the Dale without bins and camera and we witnessed many of natures wonders. We found a couple of Small Tortoiseshell chrysalis which have been bought home to hopefully watch metamorphise into butterflies. We saw a Brown Hawker dragonfly eating one of its smaller darter cousins. An Osprey flew over calling and some berry bushes proved to be full of sylvia warblers with both Blackcaps and a Garden Warbler seen.

Brown Hawker (brunlibelle) eating a darter sp.

a 1cy male Blackcap (munk) with the black feathers coming through on the crown

another 1cy male but this time with just a little brown remaining on the crown

a Garden Warbler (hagesanger)

Osprey (fiskeørn)

Saturday, 29 August 2020

A week in the Dale

Maridalen on Friday revealed slightly fewer birds than on Thursday but I did have more variety with four species of warbler in total: Garden & Willow plus Chiffchaff and Blackcap. There were also three Wheatears plus Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat, Bluethroat and Yellow Wagtail. My eBird app tells me that I had a total of 71 species in Maridalen last week which feels like a very good total especially when you consider that there was only 1 species of wader (Common Snipe) and few water birds in general.

Highlight on Friday though was Common Buzzards. I had a few sightings of singles before seeing a family party of 5 together. After losing these I then spotted two very high above me which soon became five and were then joined by another five and all ten then circled so high that they disappeared into the cloud. I later had another couple of single before again seeing a family party of five at close range. This season has definitely been good for Common Buzzards locally but a lack of Honey Buzzard sightings this week suggests that things havn’t gone so good for them (in most years this would be period when I had most sightings).

The first family group of Common Buzzards (musvåk)

7 of 10 birds that circled very high and disappeared into the cloud

three birds from the final sighting of a group of five. Left and right shows juveniles and top is an adult

Tree Pipit (trepiplerke) - spot the differences to the Meadow Pipit (heipiplerke) in yesterday's post

relatively short back claw

the back claw is so short (relative) that it is not as obvious as it is on Meadow Pipit

a Reed Bunting (sivspurv)

Tree Sparrow (pilfink)

Wheatears (steinskvett) on the church ruins

Willow Warbler (løvsanger)

Friday, 28 August 2020


Yesterday saw a slight improvement on the autumnal front. It was cold overnight (so cold that the central heating kicked in) and this may have caused some birds to think it was time to get moving. I ended up with a double figure count of Willow Warblers for the whole of Maridalen (that I visited) although there should have been ten times that number, had my first Meadow Pipits of the autumn (and fewer Tree Pipits than the previous day) and best of all at least 4 Bluethroats which showed really well.

Red-backed Shrikes have still not turned up on autumn passage and it may be too late now and where are the Yellow Wagtails?

Raptors were visible with young Sparrowhawks practicing their hunting technique on species up to the size of Wood Pigeon. At one moment I had 3 Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel circling together with 2 Buzzards high above them.

Bluethroat (blåstrupe) - the wing bar and pale tips to tertials show this is a young bird

possibly its first ever encounter with a Tree Sparrow (pilfink)

this young Goldfinch (stillits) has nearly completed its post juvenile moult

one field held many hundrd Siskins and smaller numbers of Greenfinch (grønnfink)

juvenile male Siskin (grønnsisik)

my first autumn Meadow Pipit (heipiplerke) in a vegetable patch

This Mipit looks a bit like a Tree Pipit at first glance but I heard it call and the long hind toe is also characteristic as well as the plain face

Sparrowhaek (spurvehauk) and Kestrel (tårnfalk)

Whinchat (buskskvett)

adult White Wagtail (linerle)

this White Wag has symetrical leucism with extra white in its tertials and on the mantle

a Small Tortoiseshell (neslesommerfugl) must make a good meal

Willow Warbler (løvsanger)

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Autumnal feeling in the Dale

Yesterday felt autumnal in Maridalen and it felt good 😊

Geese were on the stubble fields, a flock of Swallows was catching insects, finches and buntings were in flocks, thrushes are becoming more visible and there even some insect eaters. Migrant Bluethroat and Redstart were enough to make my day and Willow Warblers totalled 5 and Tree Pipits risked breaking into double figures!

The full list is here:


male Redstart (rødstjert)

same bird

Bluethroat (blåstrupe) getting some grief from a local Yellowhammer (gulspurv)

Willow Warbler (løvsanger) - 5 birds noted in total which is a pitiful amount for the end of August. It was also the only warbler species I saw

Yellowhammer (gulspurv) - an adult I believe

whereas this bird is clearly a youngster with some juvenile feathers still present

still lots of Nutcrackers around, the hazel nuts in its claws are the reason for their presence

the only gull I saw was this 3cy Lesser Black-backed Gull (sildemåke). It is unusual to see young birds (other than juveniles) in Norway

one of three Bramblings (bjørkefink). Another sure sign of autumn

the Greylag Geese (grågås) offered the chance for me to practice flight photography although taking pictures of large slow flying geese is a lot easier than small fast flying swifts (just thinking of when I find a Pallid later this year...)

there were 36 Canada Geese alongside the 200+ Greylags

the white on the head of this Greylag may just be leucism or could be the result of some farmyard geese genes