Thursday, 27 December 2012

Winter wonderland

Today was one of those magical winter days and Maridalen was a true winter wonderland. Yesterday’s snow hung heavily on all trees, there was no wind and the sky was blue. I enjoyed Maridalen with a family ski trip whilst others enjoyed record numbers of Pine Grosbeaks.
Per Christian sent me a message to say he had 26 in the same area where I had my first birds back in October. I relayed the message to Håkan Billing who I knew was leading a local bird club (NOFOA) trip in Maridalen today. They went straight there and had a flock of 45 flying over!! There can be no doubt that Maridalen is the best place in Norway this winter for this enigmatic species. I wonder how many birds there are actually here? When I had a flock of 26 a couple of weeks ago I assumed this was all the local birds coming together in one flock but now I reckon there are a number of flocks and there could easily be 100+ birds in the area.
The nature highlight for me today was my first moose of the winter in Maridalen, a species which should become easier to find as the winter progresses.

Edit: a (singing) Hawk Owl was also reported today in Maridalen so both Grosbeak and the owl on the same day (although neither by me). Maybe that dreamed of picture could still happen...

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