Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Swanning around waiting for Spring

The sun finally defeats the mist
 Yesterday it snowed for half the day and the other half was decked in mist. Today after the mist lifted the skies were blue and temperatures inched towards double figures (positive). There was a definite feeling of spring in the air although my trip around northern Akershus and southern Oppland county with Rune Z revealed no real signs of spring on the avian front with very little open water to attract migrant waterbirds and fields still mostly covered in snow. With a strong sun and snow decked fields the light was incredibly strong today and with no sunglasses I was squinting the whole time.
The near low point of the day was when I slipped on some snow covered ice, badly banging my elbow and also crashing bins, scope and camera hard onto the ground. All of the optics appear have survived the ordeal although my body again revealed how lamely it tackles pain with me coming close to blacking out.
The highlight of the day was 2 Little Grebes from the bridge at Minesund but other than this we had to content ourselves with a few Mute Swans, 3 Whooper Swans, a Coot, Collared Dove and a Goldfinch which is apparently a scarce species in Oppland.
With so little to see I paid more attention to the swans than o would normally do and realised that you can easily differentiate between up-ending Mute and Whooper Swans due to different shaped tails. Can you tell which is which?

Mute or Whooper Swan?

Whooper or Mute Swan?

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