Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Checking in on the Dale

 After the excitement of the cabin I am back in Oslo and Maridalen for a few days before heading off to the mountains on Friday for three days of birding and guiding which I am really excited about. The weather forecast looks perfect for some very nice encounters with lekking Great Snipe and many other mountain birds.

It was windy and overcast in Maridalen yesterday and today is raining and nearly blowing a gale so that just makes the promise of the weekend even greater.

Yesterday there were a lot of warblers singing in Maridalen and right now is the perfect time for finding and seeing them before the foliage becomes too dense. I had good views of Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Icterine Warbler and Willow Warbler and in addition heard Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat. I always struggle to tell the song of Garden Warbler and Blackcap apart and it was interesting to see a Garden Warbler chasing a Blackcap almost as though he couldn’t hear the difference either.

I saw my first Red-backed Shrike for the year in the Dale and most of the summer migrants are back now and the only common species I have yet to see are Marsh Warbler and Rosefinch.

I checked out one of the Tawny Owl boxes and an adult immediately called as I neared the box. She (I assume it was the female) was definitely protecting her young and her calls were both to warn them of my presence and also to warn me off. I didn’t stay long but saw no young out of the box but could hear them inside so I assume that they will jump out anytime soon which explains why the adult was so stressed (she has not made her presence known on previous checks of the box).

a red morph Tawny Owl (kattugle) - from behaviour I assume this to be the female

eyes wide open

blinking with the upper eyelids

and the inner eye lids called nictitating membrane)

and a video with her alarm calling due to my (brief) presence


a female Blackcap (munk)

and a male

Garden Warbler (hagesanger)

Icterine Warbler (gulsanger)

and a singing Willow Warbler (løvsanger)

this Willow Warbler must have been a female and was reacting to the singing male(s)

male Red-backed Shrike (tornskate)

and a video where you can hear the male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett) from the cabin which had found a particularly resonant dead tree to drum on and sound as though it was another, larger, species

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