I was guiding again in Hedmark yesterday and was basically hoping to give Rob and Gail from Australia a repeat of Saturday. The Great Grey Owls were as expected still there and young had definitely hatched in one nest and most likely also in the other.
It was fantastic to see one of the birds clearly tending to a youngster in the nest and it was moving so carefully – it probably had unhatched eggs plus tiny young there.
The Slavonian Grebe and Red backed Shrike were also in exactly the same places and we heard 2 Ortolans singing but still failed to see one. A big disappointment was that I could find the Hawk Owl(s). I did find a couple of adult feathers by the seemingly empty nest hole and am a bit worried for what may have happened in the three days since Saturday.
If the young had left the nest then I feel sure that we would have found them and the anxious parents fairly close to the nest so maybe there has been a breeding failure. A Black Woodpecker turned up again and drummed and a pair of Redstarts were clearly breeding in the area. Yet again raptors were noticeably absent and we only had a single Common Buzzard on the whole trip.
Last night and today I spent some time in Maridalen where the River Warblers is still reeling away and three Marsh Warblers are now singing. The Lapwing is still incubating in the middle of a newly sown field under the baking sun and must be contemplating the meaning of life. I also tried again for the Black Redstart in the city centre but yet again failed where others succeed.