Monday, 9 January 2012

Glaucous Gull

Glaucous Gull
I had planned to spend today birding in Oslo with the aim of finding a rare gull. I was unfortunately beaten to the post over the weekend when 2 Glaucous Gulls were found with one prety much as down town as it gets right by Oslo's biggest hotel. No need to change my plans for today then and things were made a little easier as I now knew exactly where to start my searching. Heavy snow was falling which didn't make viewing conditions too easy but luckily meant the gulls were just loafing around. I drew a blank in the bay outside the opera building where there are often large groups of gulls but I then went to check the river by the hotel. This area is the centre of the drug dealing district in Oslo but the snow seemed to be keeping the pushers inside and allowed me to search for the gull in peace. I found it on my second scan of the assembled Mallards and Herring Gulls - a fine, and large, 1st winter Glaucous Gull at first sat on the water and then perched on the concrete steps on the opposite side. It seems to be a very confiding bird and also staying loyal to a small stretch of the river
Bouyed by this I headed down to the docks with the idea of relocating the Mediterranean Gull that hasn't been seen for a couple of weeks. The docks also happen to be Oslo's red light district and the 2 rather innapropriately clad (for the weather) ladies of the night who were standing under umbrellas may have got the wrong impression as I ended up driving past them 3 times!
I failed to find a Med Gull but there were a few Black-headed Gulls which is a scarce winter bird in these parts - in all i saw 19 today. A tight flock of 700 Goldeneyes was feeding offshore and close by 250 Mallard, 5 Tufted and best of all 2 Long-tailed Ducks. Also a few Guillemots with a single Razorbill.
Next stop was Frognerpark to check the Gulls but 10 Black-headed Gulls didn't contain anything more exciting. Amongst the Mallards were 4 Tufted Ducks and a Teal.
A quick look at the fjord from Fornebu revealed a small flock of Common Scoter and a couple of Velvet Scoter alongside a handful of Guillemots and Razorbills. A Crested Tit was my first of the year.
I saw a colour ringed 1st winter Herring Gull (J2882) which I have reported and found out that it was first ringed on 15th August last year in Oslo and has been reported regularly, also in Oslo, since then.

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