Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Winter gloom

Julian and I gave Fornebu a couple of hours this morning but it has to be said there ain’t much happening at the moment – there aren’t many birds in this ‘hood.

When the first snows come it often results in a mini influx of birds escaping even worse things further north but the first snows have this year arrived over most of middle and southern Norway at the same time so birds have most likely just exited Norway in one step.

The Bearded Tits (skjeggmeis) are still hanging on but only revealed their presence by calling a handful times but being silent for over 10 minutes at a time. We couldn’t locate any Water Rails (vannrikse) or Jack Snipes (kvartbekkasin) along the edges of the reedbeds or the few areas of open water but did have a female Teal on a very small and ice free pool in a reedbed and found some fresh Woodcock (rugde) tracks which weaved through a large shrubby area but without us locating the bird.

Maridalsvannet is still largely ice free and held a pair of Whooper Swans (sangsvane) but there were few birds at the feeding stations.

There were no really photo opportunities today and it was gloomy - these give a taste though:
Storøykilen at Fornebu with a few Tufted Ducks and Mute Swans at the edge of the ice

even at ISO 6400 it still looks very gloomy (and grainy) as seen in this picture of the Teal

Woodcock (rugde) tracks. I have no expertise in this area but Julian knows his stuff and a check in my Tracks and Signs guide confirms this. I estimated the total length of each footprint to 4-5 cm.

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