Today's pre-breakfast trip was a pre, during and post trip. There was only one place to visit today which was Svellet. The water level is rising incredibly quickly fuelled by melt water from 100kms away plus far too little water being allowed out at the southern end. This means that an internationally important site for feeding waders on spring migration loses its importance overnight. By tomorrow there will be no mud banks left and the waders will have lost a vital final smorgasbord before they reach their breeding grounds. The main wader passage has yet to begin but a sign of what we won't be seeing in the next three weeks was the 270 Greenshank (gluttsnipe) feeding there today. There were also 6 Ruff (brushane) including 5 resplendent males and 10 wood Sandpipers (grønnstilk) which is just a single percent of the numbers that could have been seen here in the course of the next fortnight. Just a couple of hundred Teal (krikkand) were left with three Garganey (knekkand) although on the nearby Merkja pond which still has low water there were 4 Garganey, 11 Wood Sandpipers and 3 Little Ringed Plovers (dverglo).
Svellet is clearly the food rich area in spring whilst out at Årnestangen where there was still mud there wasn't a wader to see. In the autumn though when water levels fall again it is Årnestangen that has the food and attracts the birds. At Årnestsangen there were a few hundred distant Wigeon (brunnakke) and in amongst them seven Pintail (stjertand), two Gadwall (snadderand) and a Shoveler (skjeand). The walk out had a few nice passerines with Wryneck (vendehals), Redstart (rødstjert), Whinchat (buskskvett) and Yellow Wagtail (gulerle).
Raptors put on a bit of a show today with two Peregrines (vandrefalk), 2 Buzzards (musvåk), 4 Ospreys (fiskeørn) and single female Marsh Harrier (sivhauk) and Hen Harrier (myrhauk). The Hen Harrier was very distant and being mobbed by a crow as it thermalled but there was nothing to suggest one of its far rarer cousins unfortunately.
|Garganey pair and Wood Sandpiper|
|Peregrine - as usual bad exposure|