BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Becoming a bit of a bore


I was ready to go cold turkey today but I had a date with Rune and he was anxious to get his weekly dose.
Our stated intention was to bird Jeløya near Moss but to get there you drive perilously close to countless ruthless dealers all too willing to sell you their wares. I thought Rune had his cravings under control as we drove along the E6 but just when I thought we had driven past the turning to Drøbak a violent turn of the steering wheel had us careering off towards Drøbak and the school playground dealer. We scored.
Jeløya had unfortunately little to offer. A couple of Nutrackers (nøttekråke) were my first for the year. One was feeding on cones on some kind of ornamental spruce. Here you see it feeding, note how it has stripped the cone. 
Nutcracker (nøttekråke)
 The sea off Jeløy was flat and there were a few seaducks but nothing too interesting. We tried Alby forest for woodpeckers but only encountered two birds in a 2km walk: single Great Spotted Woodpecker (flaggspett) and single Nuthatch (spettmeis) – obviously not a particularly productive day!

We drove back on the minor roads searching for more Hawkie. At Våler Næringspark we were able to get very well acquainted with the dealer here. I actually saw it discard a pellet which I was later able to find on the ground. It was small and still wet – in fact it could have been mistaken for a hairy moose dropping. There were hardly any bones and they were tiny and it consisted mostly of hair - foolishly I didn't take a photo.
We noted some blood on the underside of this individual. I can't make out whether this is from an injury or whether it had recently eaten and the blood was from its prey - when they eat they hold the prey about here with their talons. If it had just eaten then it was not full (perhaps not surprising given the tiny bones in the pellet) as it was moving from tree top to tree top searching for a new hunting spot. This at least gave me new chances to practice my flight photography and I will be bold enough to say that I think I'm getting better.

Continuing home we had brief views of a Pine Grosbeak (konglebit) perched on a tree top but it disappeared all too quickly and at Kroer both the Hawk Owl and Great Grey Shrike (varsler) were on show. So another good day in good company and good weather but there are no signs of me getting my habit under control.
Hawk Owl (haukugle) - my best flight shot to date
the blood is visible here
blood also visible here
a quite satisfying picture
here it was on its way up to land on the top of a tree
this tree to be precise. This is where it also discarded a pellet
owl in nature
 

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