Friday, 17 October 2014

Stoat or do I mean Weasel?

The winter weather continues today although the precipitation is falling as rain in the city and only higher up as snow. Maridalen did have some new arrivals to show me today. On the lake a flock of 19 Goosander were feeding very actively in the shallows as a flock and looked like they were chasing a shoal of small fish. The two Common Scoter were still present in their preferred spot but have not managed to attract any more of their kin.

Avian highlight was a Rough-legged Buzzard that flew low over the valley in a vain attempt to find a snack. This bird could well be one that is hanging around the Oslo area as there have been a number of records to the east of Maridalen that could indicate 1 or 2 birds are finding the area to their liking.

Mammalian highlight came at one of the feeding stations when a movement on the ground was not a mouse but a stoat, correction weasel (snømus). It was always amazes me how small this predator is – smaller than a rat but it must be a fearsome predator if it manages to take rabbits. My attempts at a photo were pretty hopeless but I did capture the characteristic short tail (the larger weasel has a long tail).

a Nutcracker (nøttekråke) with Maridalsvannet in the background

a Rough-legged Buzzard (fjellvåk) with snow covered trees

back end of a weasel (snømus)

weasels really are small


  1. hi simon, is your stoat a weasel? Seems to lack a black-tipped tail...

  2. Indeed Phil you are completely right and thanks. I knew what it was in Norwegian (snømus) and did a very quick google searchand concluded it was stoat in English but now see that it is weasel. When I only know the Norwegian name and not the English then its a bad sign!