Wednesday, 23 October 2013


The title of today’s post is the Norwegian for Bearded Tit and for once means the same in both languages. I also note from my CD of birds calls that the German name is Bartmeise which I believe means Moustache Tit! I guess that this birds look is so distinctive that it shouldn't be a surprise that it has been named similarly in different languages.
Beard or moustache? The German's might actually have got this one right!
Today was another damp and cloudy day but Julian Bell was in town so we took a trip to Fornebu. There really was very little on show and it looks like warblers have now had enough and headed south. The Bearded Tits were still showing in the reedbed at Koksa though although it took a while for them to appear and they flew in although probably not from too far away. I had great views of a pair but suspected there to be more birds calling although realised also that the same birds could sound either close of far away depending on how they called.

this female is showing a slight 'tache as well

Also a Greenshank is still hanging on here which is quite a late record. Winds are from the south at the moment although are not very strong but enough to warrant a check of the sea from Rolfstangen. Four Velvet Scoter and a single Razorbill were the only birds of note (although Per Buertange had had Guillemot and Little Auk off Bygdøy earlier in the day). Three Waxwings flew over.

Tuesday 22 October

First Snow

The first snow of the autumn came yesterday although was nothing to write home about and disappeared very quickly. I did manage a nice shot of the autumnal trees in Maridalen though with a slight dusting of snow.

The first cold period in inland Norway normally forces out a few lingering migrants. One species that has yet to really turn up away from its breeding grounds is Great Grey Shrike (varsler). This species has I believe had a good breeding year and maybe there is still enough food in the breeding areas plus OK weather such that it hasn’t needed to migrate yet. Anyway, I hoped that a trip to Aurskog-Høland today would at least turn one up and so it did but I had to work quite hard for it – suddenly there it was though on a roadside treetop in the species characteristic manner.

Great Grey Shrike (varsler)

The day didn’t turn up too much else. I had hoped for various geese but it was only Greylag (grågås) and Canada which were to be found even though both species are still present in good numbers. In some years many thousands of Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) stop to feed in Akershus and bring with them Bean (sædgås) and White-fronted Geese (tundragås). This year though the migration of Pink-feets seems to have gone by a different route because there have been very few records in these parts.

Diving ducks were on Hellesjøvannet in good numbers with 29 Pochard (taffeland) and 4 Scaup (bergand) amongst the Tufteds (toppand), Goldeneye (kvinand) and Goosanders (laksand). Pochard turn up here in July, peak in September and then decline until the ice comes. Scaup on the other hand only turn up in late autumn and stay a few weeks before heading for the coast. Dabbling ducks were also present in their hundreds but were represented by just one species: Mallard (stokkand).
Due to it raining pretty much the whole day there was not much of a showing from raptors or passerines but they are also likely to be present in much reduced numbers now.
a pair of Whooper Swans (sangsvane) with three youngsters were on fields by Hellesjøvannet. A pair bred here and had four youngsters last time I saw them but maybe bave lost one

always good to stretch those wings -  autumn migration may well take them to the continent

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