Friday, 22 March 2013


Today the plan was to get better photos of the Water Rail (vannrikse) - if that would be possible I hear you say :-) Well there was sun today so the light would hopefully be better. When I arrived there was a bird showing but it went into the reeds. I crouched down with the camera on the tripod (I was also hoping to take some video) and waited and waited. After 45 minutes I had to admit that my body is not capable of long term crouching. When I stood up I was dizzy, really stiff in my knees and had pins and needles in my feet. Time to do something else....
Driving up to Horten and checking suitable places along the way gave me my first Starlings (stær) of the year - a flock of 20 but precious little else.
In Horten the mistletoe was still sustaining the overwintering Mistle Thrush (duetrost) and also a flock of 42 
Waxwings. These birds came down to drink from puddles formed by melting snow giving a good but brief photo opportunity.
Waxwing (sidensvans) having a drink
such colourful birds
synchronised drinking
Mistletoe berries seem to be equally whole on the way out as on the way in

At Fornebu, no birds to see but the year’s first Coltsfoot (hestehov) in flower. This is later than most years but given the amount of snow and freezing temperatures I was quite amazed to see this lovely yellow flower.
coltsfoot (hestehov) - the first flower to bloom in Norway

And finally, today’s gull. These two Herring Gulls (gråmåke) at Jarlsø, Tønsberg have very Glaucous Gull (polarmåke) like two-toned bills and had me thinking of possible hybrid influence. I thought at first these were 1st winter birds in which case the bill would be more significant but see that they are most likely 2nd winter birds where such a bill is less unusual. Striking birds anyway.
2nd winter Herring Gulls with very striking Glaucous Gull like bills

And some other birds
the Eiders (ærfugl) were displaying earnestly
Mistle Thrush

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