Monday, 10 October 2011

5 Water Rails

The first snow of the autumn fell in the mountains this weekend causing chaos for people driving back to Oslo after a half term holiday spent in the mountains. Overnight temperatures in Oslo are now going down towards zero and we had a lot of rain on Sunday but today was dry and crisp.

A morning at Fornebu was on the cards. I could not relocate the Med Gull although it had been seen at the weekend although not by everyone who went looking for it. I did have 5 Water Rails calling (squeeling) in a small reedbed and actually saw 2 of them - 1 in flight and 1 glimsped through the reed stems. The young female Scaup was also still present and gave good views with 3 Tufted Ducks. 2 Chiffchaffs were the only warblers (although there were still Blackcap in the garden this morning). My hopes of finding a Yellow-browed Warbler must be minimal now but I will keep trying!
Waxwings are definitely arriving with a minimum of 15 in the area and a few hundred thrushes mostly Fieldfares and Redwings. I had very good views of a Black Woodpecker although only managed this lousy photo:
Black Woodpecker

Numbers of Meadow Pipit (3) and Skylark (2) were significantly lower than last week and for the first time there were no Wheatears. In fact except for the high number of Water Rails and arriving Waxwings there were few obvious new birds but clearly reduced numbers of many others.
On the fjord there are still a few Guillemots, drakes Eiders are coming back into their fine breeding plumage and 3 Common Scoter and a late Black-throated Diver were new.

Here is a picture of the juvenile/1st winter Scaup with 3 Tufted Ducks. This isn't the most obvious of birds but I reckon there are enough features visible here to be sure it is a pure Scaup and not some sort of hybrid.

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