I joined wildlife cameraman at Østensjøvannet today to help him film some sequences of wildlife in Oslo. We were there from before dawn until just after lunch and got to witness changing light, wind and temperatures even if the birdlife remained fairly static during our visit.
The highlight was a female Shoveler (skjeand) which appeared amongst the Mallards very close to us in the murk before the sun came up before moving away during the morning.
|female Shoveler (skjeand) - what an amazing bill!|
A few Teal (krikkand) and Wigeon (brunnakke) were additional signs of the advance of autumn. The three pairs of Mute Swans (knoppsvane) have broods of 3,3 and 1 and all the youngsters look to still be a few weeks from being able to fly. One of the families hang around where we were standing and in the 7 hours we were on site spent the vast majority of the time just preening or resting – life is obviously good at the moment.
|Mute Swan mother and young - those wings have quite a bit of growing to do..|
|...until they are this big|
|a male Mute Swan (knoppsvane), sexed by the larger black knob above the bill|
With so much time on my hands I even spent a bit of time looking at the gulls. Only two juvenile Black-headed Gulls remain from the large breeding colony and there were also just handfuls of Common (fiskemåke), Herring (gråmåke) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (sildemåke). Lesser Black-backed Gull is a summer visitor from Africa and will soon be heading south. Normally only breeding adults return to Norway in the summer but today I could see all age classes with a number of juveniles, a couple of adults and single 2cy and 3cy birds. I was also able to get comparison shots of juvenile (1 cy) Lesser Black-backed versus Herring Gulls which are still a confusing pair at times.
|juvenile (1 cy) Lesser Bløack-backed Gull (sildemåke) on the left and same age Herring Gull (gråmåke) on the right. Quite similar?|
|Here the Herring Gull with open wings. Note the dark outer primaries and pale window on the inner primaries|
|by contrast the LBBG with its wings open. Note how they are blacker and lack the obvious pale window|
|same bird as aobve but but note how in this light the inner primaries do look paler|
|a 2nd cy LBBG|
|a 3rd cy LBBG. Adult like but with brown tinge to the black primaries and also in the other wing feathers|
And some other birds from today
|Sparrowhawk (spurvehauk) chasing Crow (kråke)|