Monday, 18 November 2013

Østensjøvannet in the gloom

Goldfinch (stillits)

A wet and gloomy day. I managed a short trip to Østensjøvannet before the heavens opened in the hope of seeing the male Smew (lappfiskand) that was there this weekend. It unfortunately had gone perhaps encouraged on its way by the overnight frost which had left half of the lake with a thin layer of ice.

There were still a few waterfowl though but all the Great Crested Grebes (toppdykker) and Moorhens (sivhøne) that breed here have already moved south. Mute Swans (knoppsvane) though were up on the breeding population of three pairs. Today there were 7 pairs, one of which had 2 young in tow, another three young and another single youngster had already been pushed off by its parents. All the swans were keeping to themselves and one male was still being territorial although when they are pushed off from Østensjøvannet by the ice they will be forced to start co-existing with each other if they are all to get enough food.

Finches were feeding on the many seed heads around the edges of the lake and three Lesser Redpolls (brunsisik) were for once fairly easy (even for me) to identify. These three birds were incredibly small and although they were not in the company of Common Redpolls (gråsisik) were clearly smaller than their cousins which I did see shortly afterwards. Goldfinches (stillits) were feeding on thistles and some Crossbills (grankorsnebb) were in spruce trees. Just missing some Pine Grosbeaks (konglebit), Arctic Redpolls (polarsisik) or Two-barred Crossbills (båndkorsnebb).....

I had hoped to find some Bearded Tits (skjeggmeis) in the reedbeds given how many seem to be on the move but instead had to content with 12 Long-tailed Tits (stjertmeis) which are VERY numerous this autumn.

Due to the gloom I was forced to using ISO 6400 but got some OK pictures.
Common Redpoll (gråsisik) A grey and white bird

Lesser Redpoll (brunsisik) - a cr*ppy picture butthe warmer brown tones around the face are clearly different to the Common Redpoll above. This bird was also noticeably small.

Common Redpoll. Although noticeably white below note the long dark feathers in the undertail coverts which are one character which help separate from Arctic Redpoll

Goldfinch (stillits)

Long-tailed Tit (stjertmeis) - this one stayed still just long enough for me to focus and take a picture

most pictures were like this...

...or like this

when you take enough though you do get some other that are OK. Looks like this bird has impaled itself on a branch

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