Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gressholmen 18 October 2017 - An unfair comparison?

Today's trip went to Gressholmen, Oslo.

A couple of views from Aker Brygge before the boat left....

Arriving at Gressholmen

This is one of my favourite places to go birding in the capital. I think of it as the nearest I can get to Hernar whilst I'm in the big city. There are many similarities - the boat trip takes the same amount of time, leaves the quayside within 5 minutes of the Hellesøy - Hernar boat, Gressholmen is of a similar size to Hernar and also has a number of other islands nearby. Habitat wise they have some similar areas but Gressholm has a nice muddy lagoon and rather more woodland. If  Gressholm could have been moved to the west coast it would be a truly mind blowing locality....

I spent almost 2.5 hours there this morning and notched up 34 species (37 all in including stuff seen on the way there and back). Best birds were a Snow Bunting snøspurv and a couple of Hawfinch kjernebiter. The last visit to Hernar produced in excess of 50 which included many of the same species.

A Goshawk hønsehauk on Hovedøya was a bonus bird and there were several auks on the fjord - with a scope they would have been straightforward enough but had to go down as Guillebills alke/lomvi today. Two species that these islands have in common on my latest visits is a movement of Blue Tits blåmeis and Mealy Redpolls gråsisik.

Gressholm has been watched with a varying degree of intensity since at least the early 80s and has a quite impressive species tally of 192, with 88 so far this year before I put in today's results. Hernar has only 179 thus far but got off to a late start having only been regularly watched since 2008 and has 96 species thus far this year.

However, although Gressholm has many good species in a local context (or that would be considered very good on Hernar) it has little in the way of rarities.

Hopefully this link will work and shows the difference between these two islands.

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