Friday, May 28, 2021

Engerdal 20-26 May 2021 - Almost ice free

A week spent in Engerdal was quite productive - despite the fact that many of the lakes were still almost completely frozen when I arrived, some of which thawed during my time there.

Access to many of my usual sites was limited as roads were still closed as winter maintained its grasp. 

At lower altitudes spring was well on the way with flooding in some areas providing feeding areas for waders and wildfowl that were obviously doing regular checks at higher altitudes.

Higher up there was more bare ground than snow covered ground but the lakes were still mostly ice covered even when I left. However, many species were back on their breeding grounds despite the conditions whilst others seemed to be checking these areas out before heading back down to lower altitudes.

I managed to clock up a few new species for my Engerdal list in the form of Mandarin mandarinand, Merlin dvergfalk and Pintail stjertand.

Of rather more interest were two different Tengmalm's Owl perleugle nests (one in a nestbox and one in an old Black Woodpecker hole), breeding Hawk Owl haukugle, Ruff brushane, Cranes trane, Capercaille tiur and most of the usual Engerdal suspects including Black-throated Divers storlom, Red-throated Diver smålom, Osprey fiskeørn and Whoopers sangsvane.

Hawk Owl haukugle keeping an eye on its nest

This male Pintail stjertand was a new Engerdal species for me

Male Ruff brushane at Heggeriset
Small numbers of Ruff were seen on lower ground - presumably still waiting for their breeding grounds to thaw

Roadside Capercaille storfugl

Crane trane

Small numbers of Slavonian Grebes horndykker were seen - no doubt waiting for breeding localities to thaw.

Male and female Black Grouse orrfugl

Kestrel tårnfalk were more numerous and widespread than normal - looks like it might be a good rodent year.

Greenshank gluttsipe

Mergansers siland at Galtsjøen

Siskin grønnsisik

Tengmalm's Owl perleugle chicks posing after being ringed.
Unfortunately the father of this brood died but the mother was still around and with some supplementary feeding most of these chicks were still doing well a week after this picture was taken

Wood Sandpipers grønnstilk

Redshank rødstilk were displaying in most of the usual places

Willow Tit granmeis

Tufted Duck toppand pair

Goosander laksand pair on a small ice-free patch of water

Lots of Yellow Wagtails gulerle about - both in the valleys and higher up.

Mammals were particularly obvious with a lot of Hare, Roe Deer and a few Elk.

Hares were moulting out of their winter colours.....

Roe Deer rådyr

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