Monday, 30 November 2015

Great Grey Shrike

After a weekend with rain and strong winds it looks like the Arctic Tern has moved on. It was already the latest recorded observation in Norway (as far as I can make out) but it would have been cool if it had stayed into December.

All the Waxwings have moved on from the Botanical Gardens as well after stripping bare all the berry trees. Hawfinches remain in good numbers though with at least 15 birds today. At one stage I thought I heard a 2BC with a trumpet call followed a bit later by some typical crossbill calls. Although I didn’t see the birds giving these calls I later had a trumpeting Bullfinch and am quite sure that I had heard this plus a Common Crossbill earlier.

At Fornebu a seal was close offshore. At the time I felt sure it was a Grey Seal (havert) due to a long snout (this species is very scarce here) but looking at my pictures and reading up on the differences between the two species it looks like it was in fact the more regular Common Seal (steinkobbe).

In Maridalen the Great Grey Shrike permitted me to take some very close pictures in warm afternoon sunlight. 
Great Grey Shrike (varsler) Maridalen. The bird is aged as a 1cy due to the pale lores (the area between eye and bill) plus the extensive pale base to the bill

4 of 5 Collared Doves (tyrkerdue) in the Botanical Gardens - this is becoming a scarce species in Oslo
seal off Fornebu. I've eventually concluded with Common Seal (steinkobbe) from the shape of the nostrils

plus the fact the animal has a stepped rather than "roman nose" snout

Velvet Scoters (sjøorre). In the insets there is a 1cy bird on the left with pale belly, then 2 adult females and then 3 adult males


Sunday, 29 November 2015

Østensjøvannet and hybrid duck

Here are some pictures from Østensjøvannet from Thursday including more of the hybrid Eurasian Wigeon x Mallard.

hybrid Eurasian Wigeon x Mallard


And a female Pintail (stjertand)

a selction of wildfowl with the escaped female Ruddy Shelduck, Mallard, Coot, Barnacle Goose and a hybrid Canadad x Greylag Goose

Also some Mallard pictures
the yellow bill shows this to be a male Mallard as do the few grey feathers but the lack of other male plumage is probably a result of some hormonal imbalance

the dark bill od this female had me at first considering a Pintail influence but I see nothing else to suggest that

Saturday, 28 November 2015


Some more pictures and a video of the Waxwings (sidensvans) at the Oslo Botanical Gardens on Thursday. There were ca.1000 birds there and they made for a very impressive sight and sound. With such vast numbers it wasn't going to take long for them to eat all the berries that were there and reports from today suggest very few birds were left.

I am not entirely satisfied with the picture I got with them lacking sharpness - I'm not sure whether this was down to technical problems or photographer problems...

Waxwing (sidensvans)

here we can see the red waxy growths on the wings that give the bird its English name