Thursday, September 22, 2016

Engerdal 16-21 September 2016 - Migration update from the hills of eastern Norway

Fantastic weather almost constantly! Rather warm for the time of year too.

Whilst many birders head west to the coast and offshore islands I headed in the opposite direction and spent a week in Engerdal in eastern Norway.

Part of a flock of migrating Crane trane over Heggeriset 21.09

Hawk Owl haukugle

Long-tailed Tit stjertmeis

Red Squirrel ekorn

Reed Bunting sivspurv were very common and widespread

Three-toed Woodpecker tretåspett - I finally connected with this species in Engerdal!

Waxwings sidensvans

Wheatear steinskvett - one of a number of migrants still on the high ground

White wagtail linerle

Highlights included Three-toed Woodpecker tretåspett, Hawk Owl haukugle, Great Grey Shrike varsler and a flock of almost 80 migrating Common Crane trane.

There were still a lot of birds about - sometimes in large numbers. Flocks of Fieldfare gråtrost, Redwing rødvingetrost and Mistle Thrush duetrost were "all over" and feeding on the plentiful berries in the area. Waxwings sidensvans were also very obvious but were still feeding largely on the many flying insects. I saw my first flock of Long-tailed Tits stjertmeis in the area - this is at the exact time I used to see this species migrating in Gullfjell.

Finches were also very plentiful with Brambling bjørkefink perhaps the commonest followed by Siskin grønnsisik and Common Redpoll gråsisik.

Some tropical migrants were also still hanging around including Wheateat steinskvett, Swallow låvesvale and Willow Warbler løvsanger.

Other stuff worth mentioning were lots of Reed Bunting sivspurv (though mostly lower down now), Grey Wagtails vintererle and a decent variety of wildfowl including both Velvet Scoter sjøorre and Common Scoter svartand (the latter still on their breeding lake high in the mountains), good numbers of Black-throated Diver storlom still on the breeding grounds too.

Predictably almost all the waders had left with just one small flock of Golden Plover heilo seen on the tops.

Other sightings worth mentioning were Capercaille storfugl (common in Engerdal) and Grey-headed Woodpecker gråspett (rather hard to find in the area).

Also worth noting and very commendable was that I heard grouse hunting has been stopped this season over much of the district and where hunting is still allowed it has been very much reduced - the quota in the limited area where hunting is allowed at all is one bird per hunter per day,

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