It’s all getting a bit too busy for blogging! The end of April is always my favourite time and at the moment it is the movement of Teal and other dabbling ducks that is occupying me with the never-ending searching for something rare in their midst.
Yesterday I was at Nordre Øyeren. At this time of the year it is usually the mighty Svellet where all the action is but the very abrupt end of winter over the last two weeks has caused a surge of melt water with water levels rising 45cm over the last 3 days and being now 60cm over normal levels. This means Svellet has gone from being iced over to immediately being flooded so conditions are pants.
There is a chance that water levels will fall again before the melt waters from the mountains start coming but all predictions are for serious flooding this spring. The only area with any mud showing is in Snekkervika and at the tip of Årnestangen. Fog and rain (which came too late in the morning to force birds down) made viewing tricky but amongst at least 2000 Teal I found a pair of Garganey, a pair of Shoveler, a male Gadwall, 6 Pintail and a 100 odd Wigeon so it was only a yank that was missing.
Wader passage hasn’t really started but there were 40 Curlew, 7 Ringed Plover and a couple of LRPs; things will be very different in a little over a weeks time.
Today I did the tour de Aurskog-Høland. Here there is if anything too much flooding but conditions will be perfect once the floods subside. There were lots of Teal to be seen here as well but I found nothing of note amongst them despite grilling every single one!
I had Marsh Harriers at three localities including a nest building male, a pair of Smew at Hellesjøvannet, my first House Martins of the year and also some waders. A few Greenshank were to be expected alongside many Green Sandpipers but two Wood Sandpipers were early and deserved to be grilled properly (this is a real stringers species and the vast majority of April records (or at least 99% of those before 20 April) will be Green Sandpipers – the earliest record ever documented with a photo in Artsobs is 23 April.
At Fornebu yesterday I caught up with a couple of Shore Larks that have been there for a while plus saw a ringed Ringed Plover (in addition to 6 unringed Ringed Plovers and a Little Ringed Plover) that had been ringed 2.8.2017 further south in Norway. My sighting of will I hope in someway help justify the rather obscene bling it has had to carry.
In Maridalen, Willow Warblers and Black-throated Divers have arrived and there are a few Ring Ouzels on the fields and Teal on floodwater.
Simon Rix is an English Birder who has lived in Oslo, Norway since 2001. Birding has been his passion since primary school and after an education as an economist and career within oil and gas and then drinks industry he turned his attention full time to birds as middle age approached. He is particularly interested in patch birding and migration and is an active guide, blogger and photographer. He is a member of the Norwegian Rarities Committee (NSKF).
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