Friday, 18 January 2013


Today I had the company of Fernando and a student colleague of his. We went looking for owls with Hawk the guaranteed, Pygmy a hoped for and Great Grey an outsider. I managed to deliver the first two but the GG was unsurprisingly not added to the year list.
Hawkie was available for us at Frogn School and this time of a half decent quality rather than low grade I've previously been offered here. Yet again I was gifted a great photo opportunity when a Magpie mobbed the owl, not once but twice, before the owl then set off in pursuit of the Magpie. Whilst chasing the Magpie it was easy to see how it gets its name as its flight was far more falcon than owl like. First I couldn't keep up with the action and then when i did lock on the autofocus wouldn't lock on so the camera refused to take a picture.
I would though definitely describe today’s hit as a good one and it will keep me tripping through the weekend....
The Magpie (skjære) mobbed the Hawk Owl (haukgugle) twice without causing too much consternation

The owl then reversed the cards and became the mobber

In our travels we checked out a couple of other Hawk Owl sites but with only two obliging tree top Great Grey Shrikes plus two foxes for our troubles (it looks like some of the owls have relocated though as there were some new records not too far away in Østfold). On the drive back to Oslo a Pygmy Owl was perched on top of a roadside spruce but could only be fleetingly admired at 100km/h.
We checked out Maridalen on the way home with 5 species of tit, 5 Great Spotted Woodpeckers together and best of all a moose which ran over the road just 20m in front of the car (I dread to think what the result would have been were it not for those 20 metres!)
Continuing the theme that all good January birds like to perch in an exposed position there was an adult female Sparrowhawk perched on an aerial on a neighbouring house when I got home.
And as a postscript on the same theme, whilst taking the family to see Disney on Ice in Oslo Centre in the afternoon I had a male Peregrine perched on top of Oslo’s tallest building.
adult female Sparrowhawk (spurvehauk)

Moose (elg) which ran across the road in front of us in Mridalen

Bullfinches (dompap) are always a great bird
The owl gave itself a good stretch and preen. Here it is fanning out its tail feathers
straigthening out the tail feathers
it ran each feather through its bill

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