Saturday, 8 May 2021

Two good days

The last two days have offered up some very good birding. Yesterday I visited the islands with fellow Brit Jack D (not that one but a fellow Cambridge alumni. We are now 3 birders out of around 170 alumni in Norway which is a ratio around 10 times higher than in Norway generally and proof that birders are a special breed ūüėČ ). Today, I was guiding which had been given as a birthday present and 4 very enjoyable hours were spent in Maridalen.

 Highlight of the islands was literally stumbling upon an enormous number of nesting birds. I have never experienced anything quite like it before but right by paths and summer cabins we found nests of Eiders, Barnacle Goose, Greylag Goose, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher and Herring, Lesser Black-backed, Common and Black-headed Gulls. Migrants were very scarce with a singing Wryneck heading the list and around 20 Common Terns displaying amongst already incubating B-h Gulls.

 Maridalen today had more migrants but the big arrival is still to come. We notched up over 60 species with a pair of Wrynecks singing and inspecting nest holes at close range the highlight. Scarce birds included White-tailed Eagle, flyover Little Ringed Plover (only my third record in the Dale), flyover Lapland Bunting and Yellow Wagtail, Crane, Buzzards, and Whimbrel.

singing Wryneck (vendehals)

nest hole inspecting

a distant White-tailed Eagle (hav√łrn) and birders in Maridalen

Common Tern (makrellterne)

here a male delivers a fish to his mate

and here she has it. If they had been on land then I expect mating may have followed

this Eider nest contains 2 definite Eider (ærfugl) eggs (the plain ones) and what I think is a Lesser Black-backed Gull (sildemåke) egg (very speckled one) and a 4th egg that I am unsure about. How this happened I do not know but there was a nesting LB-b Gull and Oystercathcher (tjeld) just metres away

Black-headed Gull (hettemåke) colony with a couple of nesting Eiders

tailless Bh Gull

nesting female Eider

nesting Lesser Black-backed Gull

male Linnet (tornirisk(

Ringed Plover (sandlo)

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