Saturday, July 01, 2023

Engerdal 11-18 June 2023 - Quiet in the hills

A week spent in my inland home away from home:) I managed to cover most of my usual spots in between work and other stuff.

My impression was that things were a lot quieter than normal for this time of year. Waders were rather thin on the ground - very small numbers of Whimbrel småspove compared to normal, most tringa waders well down on normal numbers and a some of species of wader were simply not present. Yellow wagtail gulerele, normally extremely common, were present in much lower numbers than usual. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the spring was rather late and there was a long period of cold weather that stopped just a couple of days before I arrived.

That said, a decent variety of species (at least 82) were seen including a couple more new Engerdal species for me - a Hawfinch kjernebiter in the garden and a female Hen Harrier myrhauk. Other highlights including breeding Short-eared Owl jordugle, excellent views of singing Icterine Warbler gulsanger, Common Buzzard musvåk and Great Grey Shrike varsler seemingly holding territory.

Hawfinch kjernebiter - a new species for me in Engerdal. 
This bird was seen in the garden at Heggriset.

Female Hen Harrier myrhauk - another new species for me in Engerdal - one of the first birds seen on my "farewell tour" on the morning I left.

Common Buzzard musvåk, Heggeriset

This shot shows the effect of the light with one pupil much larger than the other one:)

Short-eared Owl jordugle.
There was quite a lot of evidence of rodents in the hills, Kestrels tårnfalk were pretty much everywhere so it seems like not too bad a year for these birds in the mountains

Great Grey Shrike varsler - normally I see this species in the autumn / winter but they also breed in the area. Another pointer towards a reasonable rodent year higher up.

Icterine Warbler gulsanger - this bird at Heggeriset and another at Galten were the only two I saw during the week in Engerdal.

A couple of unseasonal sightings at Drevsjø were a flyover Jackdaw kaie and a Starling stær which looked like it was visiting a nest hole - this is a species I have normally seen as an autumn migrant in Engerdal.

Common Tern makrellterne at Sorken.
Arctic Tern rødnebbterne is the commonest tern in Engerdal

Yellow Wagtail gulerle at Heggeriset
This species was noticeably less numerous than normal this time round

Bullfinches dompap with young were still visiting the garden feeder

Great-spotted Woodpecker flaggspett, Engerdal

Siskin grønnsisik at the feeder

Bullfinch dompap at Heggeriset

Merganser siland, Galten

Raven ravn, near Drevsjø

Brambling bjørkefink - one of the commonest breeding birds in Engerdal

Hardangervidda 09-10 June 2023 - A brief stop in the hills

Heading east I had to stop for a meeting and what better place than Halne on the Hardangervidda:)

After work I had a couple of short walks in the area, still some snow around and the lake was mostly covered in ice. Best bird in a Hardangervidda context was a Black-throated Diver storlom which fed briefly on an ice free area. Otherwise it was more or less situation normal, or perhaps the "new normal" as I did not see any Lapland Bunting lappsourv.

Singing Bluethroat blåstrupe and Shorelark fjelllerke, displaying Rock Ptarmigan fjellrype and a selection of the usual waders were among the sightings here.

Bluethroat blåstrupe, Halne

One of many Fieldfare gråtrost nests in the area

Fieldfare gråtrost

Dunlin myrsnipe at Dyranut

Ringed Plover sandlo at Dyranut

Rock Ptarmigan fjellrype, Hardangervidda

Shorelark fjelllerke