Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Still searching

Birding really is quite difficult at the moment. A trip to Jeløy today where I specifically hoped to find Three-toed Woodpecker resulted in only six Great Spots. I walked the forest listening for tapping and discovered that old creaking trees can do quite good woodpecker impressions. I stood by one fallen tree that was leaning on another tree for about three minutes convinced that I was just blind and there was a woodpecker somewhere above me but in the end had to accept it was just the tree making the noise.

One definite highlight today though was that my Great Grey Shrike (varsler) radar is back in working order and I had two roadside birds along the E6 motorway in Akershus. Both birds were at regular sites for this species from previous winters.

The camera yet again remained warm and unused in my bag although back home I did take this photo of a partially leucistic Fieldfare (gråtrost). I initially thought the bird had snow on its head but closer inspection revealved that not to be the case....
partially leucistic Fieldfare (gråtrost)

There has also been a partially leucistic male House Sparrow in the garden for the last couple of years and I felt inspired to document this bird too. Leucism is a pigment problem which birds occasionally show and often results in white feathers although is not the same albinoism. It is often symmetric which is also the case on these two birds.

the best picture I could manage of the House Sparrow. The same leucism is shown on both wings and occurs on a single greater feather plus all the medium coverts. There are also some paler (although not white) feathers in the mantle.

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