BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

I'm birding in the rain, I'm birding in the rain

I used to blindly trust the weather forecasts on the website of the Norwegian Metrological service, yr.no but over the last few months they have shown an astonishing inability to forecast rain - either they don't forecast and it buckets down or they forecast it and its dry and sunny. Today was one of the former with scattered showers forecast but instead there was constant heavy rain all morning. This did rather put a dampener on birding but I struggled out to the shelter of Oslo's one and only bird hide at Østensjøvannet. The Water Rail (vannrikse) screeched in response to my pishing but did not show. 4 Shoveler (skjeand) were on the water and the young Pochard (taffeland) showed very closely after the rain had stopped. Coots (sohøne) are a common breeder here but are not a bird I have counted before. My recent estimates have been of 80-100 birds but a count revealed 280 and that didn't include any birds at the out of sight far ends. This is the second highest recorded count ever in Norway according to Artsobservasjoner.no?

I went to Maridalen in the early afternoon after the rain stopped and hoped for some raptor passage. I did have Goshawk (hønsehauk), Sparrowhawk (spurvehauk) and Kestrel (tårnfalk) but it would be stretching things to call it a passage.

At ØStensjøvannet there were at least three 1K Lesser Black-backed Gulls (sildemåke) showing how wide a spectrum of plumage this age group can have. One of them was also trying to eat a dead rodent of some kind. I believe it was either a white rat (where would it have come from?) or else a rat that had been in the water so long that it had somehow changed colour. Suggestions are welcome.

1cy Lesser Black-backed Gull (sildemåke) with what I believe is a rat
in the end I think the bird gave up on its attempts to swallow this

probably the same bird this time seeing if a dead pike (gjedde) is more palatable
another two 1 cy Lesser Black-backed Gulls with very different plumages
these 7 young Mute Swans (knoippsvane) were getting flying lessons from one of the parents. Only one of them managed to get airbourne
Shoveler (skjeand) or spoon duck as they say in Norwegian
another Shoveler in the rain
the young Pochar (taffeland) was so tame that you could wonder where is has come from....
this young Moorhen (sivhøne) was the closest I came to seeing the Water Rail (vannrikse) today but I did hear it at frustratingly close range

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