BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bearded Tits and the tristis that didn't show


Bearded Tits (skjeggmeis) have been turning up in Vestfold and Østfold in the last week so I was planning to see if any had turned up in the reedbeds at Fornebu where they used to be a regular feature of the late autumn but have been absent since the winter of 2008/09. Unfortunately I was beaten to it as one brave individual went out in yesterdays bad weather and found six! Today there was an improvement in the weather so I headed off hoping to secure some good photos of what must be one of Europe’s smartest birds. As I walked towards the reedbed at around 0935 I suddenly heard a lot of plinging. The birds were on the move. I managed to see at least three birds heading north east but also heard some plinging from another direction although I couldn’t locate the source. I hoped the other plingers would be in the reedbed but I couldn’t locate them. A Chiffchaff (gransanger) here was very brown and grey and lacking green tones but it’s call was of the “sweeo” variety suggesting an easterly origin rather that a Siberian (tristis).
Over at Storøykilen I had three Rooks flying over SW at some height – presumeably migrant birds from one of the few breeding locations further north in Norway. In Storøykilen I heard another easterly Chiffchaff and also what must have been a Siberian Chiffchaff (ssp. Tristis) although as I didn’t see the bird I cannot claim it as a definite record. The call matches all the recordings I have found and had a Water Rail quality about it (if you know what I mean!)
Otherwise few birds to see at Fornebu. I went to Bygdøy to see if the Bearded Tits had flown there but couldn’t find them in the small reedbed at Hengsenga.
A quick tour around Maridalen revealed a lake completely devoid of birds other than 2 Cormorant (storskarv). A pleasant surprise though was a family party of 2 adult and 4 juvenile Whooper Swans (sangsvane) feeding in a field by Sørbråten farm. This is most likely the remains of the pair with 6 young which bred on Dausjøen in May but managed to disappear shortly after birth. Presumably they have been using the undisturbed river north of Dausjøen.
One of 2 adults and the four remaining young from the Maridalen Whooper Swan pair

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