Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Good day in Maridalen

Maridalen showed off its best side today. With a blue sky, little wind and temperatures down to -15C it was certainly a chilly day but good birding conditions! A Pygmy Owl (spurveugle) sat on top of a roadside tree in the same place I had one over a month ago and where others have also seen one recently so this looks like to be a pretty reliable place to find one at the moment.
Pygmy Owl (spurveugle) Maridalen

Four Pine Grosbeaks (konglebit) were in the same trees as last week although they quickly moved on. They were quite vocal though which made locating them easier than it has been other times.
Pine Grosbeaks (konglebit)

even in silhouette, Pine Grosbeaks are readily identifiable with their long tails and thick bills
 At one of the feeding stations I got a shock when a female Grey-headed Woodpecker (gråspett) flew past the car just seconds after I had stopped. It flew by so low that I was sure it was using the feeding station but it did not return in the next hour-and-a-half. The bird that was here two winters ago took me about 10 hours to see so there is every chance that this one will winter in the area but will only pop into the feeding station very occasionally. Whilst waiting, in addition to freezing my b*l’cks off, I heard a Black Woodpeckers (svartspett), and had good views of 11 Bullfinches (dompap), 5 species of Tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Jay and a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
Earlier in the day I had gone looking for Hawk Owls where we had seen them on Friday but without luck. Best birds were a couple of Goshawks (hønsehauk) and a flyover Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett) which gave me four species of  ‘pecker in a day. I also checked out Torkilstranda in Drøbak which was home to multiple Iceland Gullls (grønlandsmåke) last winter but today there were only 100 or so Herring Gulls (gråmåke). Three Hawfinches (kjernebiter) nearby were a good sighting.
Male Bullfinch (dompap) feeding on sunflower seeds

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