BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Redpolls

When I was growing up there were only two redpoll species to worry about although there was also the subspecies Mealy Redpoll. Then some biologist provided enough proof for the splitters to create 3 species plus some unanswered questions regarding the races found in Iceland and Greenland. Now from what I understand they may all get lumped and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
Today I was lucky enough to find a flock of 30 redpolls of which at least one was a clear Arctic Redpoll (a snow ball with wings), one a clear Lesser Redpoll and the rest Common (Mealy) Redpolls of varying colours with some at the brown end and some at the white end of plumage variation.
The birds were by the road near Rygge and only gave good scope views so no pictures unfortunately.
Today was a crisp, cold and sunny so the destination today was Kurefjorden. No new birds to see compared with earlier visits and fewer birds generally probably as a result of an exodus as the fjord was half frozen. Five different Rough-legged Buzzards on the islands and a couple of Great Grey Shrikes were the highlights with 300 Goldeneyes and 24 Velvet Scoter on the water.
I also visited the next fjord to the south, Krokstadfjord, for the first time. This is a narrow fjord but has some mudflats and looks a good site. A Red-throated Diver, 4 Great Crested Grebes and 4 Razorbills were of note.
On the drive home I had a Grey-headed Woodpecker low over the car allowing me to see the grey undersides and lack of barring in the tail to rule out Green.

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