Tuesday 18 June 2024

Emergency stopping for a bug

This year hasn’t been that good for butterflies yet with lots of rain and when there is sun it is often windy. I have consequently not spent much time searching for them but as with all things with wings sometimes they come to you. Yesterday whilst driving in Maridalen I saw a large black and white butterfly flutter in front of the car. For the first time (that I can remember at least) I emergency stopped for an insect although it soon transpired I had all the time in the world. The butterfly, which was a Poplar Admiral (ospesommerfugl) was attracted to the road and was clearly finding something good, probably salt, on the tarmac. It managed to avoid death at the hands of passing cars, although all slowed down as they were clearly interested to see what I was up to, and it kept landing and showing itself off from all angles. Whilst this was happening a Swallowtail flew over although unfortunately did not stop. So arguably the two most spectacular Norwegian butterflies at the same time and in the Dale ūüėä


Poplar Admiral (ospesommerfugl). Only the fourth time I've seen one and by far and away the most cooperative. They are famous for being attracted to dog sh*t but seems tarmac roads are just as attractive

I paid a visit to √ėstensj√łvannet yesterday hoping that the rainy weather might have produced something (a Black Tern turned up at √Örnestangen at the weekend) but as with all my rain fuelled visits this spring there was not even a Swallow to see. Something is clearly up with the lake with there being no insects hatching and therefore no Swallows, terns or most importantly gulls to feed off them. I reckon that this is the reason that Black-headed Gulls, which used to breed here in a colony of many hundreds of pairs, have now more or less completely abandoned the lake for breeding. It did look like there were two nesting pairs though which was a surprise although whether they can raise young is another thing.

Even if there were no insect eaters, a couple of male Gadwall in eclipse plumage were most unexpected.

male Gadwalls (snadderand) in eclispe

Coot (soth√łne) parent and young

when at √ėstensj√łvannet it is rude not to take a picture of a Great Crested Grebe (toppdykker)

Maridalsvannet has been having lots of hatching insects over the last few weeks with many Common and a few Black-headed Gulls hawking them. There have also been Common Tern which today peaked at 6 birds which I am sure is a record here. There have also been lots of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins and the odd sighting of Sand Martin. Today there three birds including a pair mating on wires right above my head. I never saw them visiting potential nest holes although they have previously bred in holes between stones on a nearby bridge.

I did foolishly have another nocturnal outing last night but with nothing to show for it I think this must be my last of the year, in Maridalen at least.

mating Sand Martins (sandsvale)

Swallows (låvesvale) collecting nesting material. The bird on the left is ringed. It is quite late to be nest building

I haven't been able to make much out of the ring not even which country 

Marsh Warblers (myrsanger) have become quiet as they pair off

there are now two Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) at Maridalsvannet. At least one of them is paired to a Greylag and maybe both

These two Mallard (stokkand) chicks are very different

the Great Northern Diver (islom) is going strong

and yet another video of it

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