Friday 24 May 2024

The year that keeps on giving

Yesterday was not just about Oslo year ticks I also had good and very surprising news on Oslo’s Lapwings. First a pair is attempting again but what shocked me was to see an adult with 4 small young. The young are too small to possibly have come from the failed/abandoned nests as they would have had to have fledged a week ago. So, this means they come from a nest I wasn’t aware of. There were three pairs at the beginning of the month but after that I only was aware of the two pairs whose nests I had found. Clearly though the third pair was nesting more secretively and good for them!

At Årnestangen of the three nesting pairs one is still on the nest, another seems to have failed (possibly due to the nest flooding) but were seen mating and the behaviour of the third pair suggested they had (unseen) young. Worryingly though there was a flock of 43 adults that were clearly failed/non breeders. I don’t know from how far they had come but this suggest a very bad breeding season locally.


Today’s trip to Gressholmen was rewarding if not surprising as Jack had got there before me and had been very productive. By the time I got on the ferry I knew I had three Oslo # waiting for me and sure enough just a couple of minutes after getting to the island I heard Thrush Nightingale #178, then saw Grey Plover #179 and a few seconds later a Dunlin #180. It was overcast and we even had a few spots of rain but the heavy rain or thunderstorms that we prayed for did not materialise but Monday is still looking to be a good day. Other than the aforementioned waders there were only 4 Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Sands and a few Oystercatchers but it always felt like something good could drop in although after 3 hours I decided that reality and feelings were not coalescing and home beckoned.

my eBird summary showing that I have now, as of 24 May, seen as many, or more species in Oslo than I have managed in a whole year since 2020 when I started using eBird

So, I need “just” 12 species to beat my record from 2019 and another 9 to hit the mythical 200. So, what is likely?

Honey Buzzard is as good as certain and Sand Martin and Bluethroat almost so and in recent years Water Rail and Jack Snipe have proved to be reliable in early winter. Capercaille is a species that breeds in Oslo’s forests so with an appropriate amount of walking and searching should also be a species I can find. Other than these though I am dependent on certain events happening.

Rain or thunderstorms that grounds waders and potentially terns and Little Gulls either in the next week or in July/August.

A good autumn wader passage regardless of rain.

A good arrival of night singers.

Autumn storms that bring in seabirds.

An influx of northern species in the late autumn such as owls or Grosbeaks, and a few real rarities and perhaps most importantly the ability to go twitch when necessary.


Currently I am slightly birding aide handicapped as my tripod head is busted so scope use is rather limited and I managed to lose my thermal imager and despite retracing my steps countless times it remains lost but I can’t see that slowing me down!

Grey Plover (tundralo) and Ringed Plovers (sandlo)

Grey Plover with Oystercatcher (tjeld)

and with Dunlin

singing Thrush Nightingale (nattergal)

Jack with everything staked out for me

the bay at low tide when a few spots of rain fell and I thought anything could happen

adult Lapwing (vipe) with a chick in Maridalen!

and then there were 4

they can only be a few days old

and the bird that is attempting to nest for the second time

a male giving a distraction display at Årnestangen

failed breeders

this is a good spring for Siskins (grønnsisik) and they can now feed on dandelion seeds

pair of Shoveler (skjeand) at Årnestangen

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