Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Some birding of sorts

Finally some birding although the eight year old who accompanied me has now decided that she is not at all interested in birds so I wasn’t able to stay particularly long at any one place.

We started at Linesstranda near Drammen where some of the locals provide a great amount and variety of food for wintering birds. This has resulted in a good selection of overwintering birds including a Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis) in the reedbed (although as far as I know this has not come to food). I was hoping for some great views of the Bearded and Long-tailed Tits (stjertmeis) but neither showed for us whilst we were there. A Robin (rødstrupe) was my first of the year though – this winter they seem to have been very scarce. There was a lot of bird song in the woodland here mostly from Siskins (grønnsisik) and Bullfinches (dompap) – a positively spring feel was in the air.

Moving onto Horten I easily found the overwintering Mistle Thrush (duetrost). It is exceptional that they overwinter but this one has found a good supply of mistletoe berries to keep it going.

At Presterødkilen in Tønsberg we heard a couple of Bearded Tits in the reedbed but failed to see them and at nearby Jarlsø there were four Little Grebes (dvergdykker).

I tried for two Hawk Owls during the day but failed to find them.   Recent increase in records in hedmark and Oppland counties could be a sign that birds are moving north looking for suitable breeding sites.
a not particularly good picture of a Mistle Thrush high up in a tree but note the mistletoe on which it feeds

equally poor picture but I have never noticed that the undertail coverts are so boldy patterned before

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