Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Two and a Half Corvids

The last couple of days have not seen too much in the way of successful birding. Yesterday was an isolated day of clear sunny weather with little wind and I had hopes of raptors in Maridalen but had to be content with just two Sparrowhawks (spurvehauk) in four hours.

Today it was back to wet, grey weather and I ditched, initially at least, my plans of heading east for lots of wildfowl and chose to twitch in Akershus. On Sunday a fine White-billed Diver (gulnebblom) was seen on a boat trip and then later twitched by others from land at a range of 3km and yesterday a Kingfisher (isfugl) was seen not too far away. Needless to say my twitching proved fruitless and I quickly decided that I would head east whilst I still had time. 

The large numbers of Greylag Geese (grågås) were now just a fraction of their numbers from last week with probably yesterdays good weather encouraging them on their way. I wasn’t Greylags I was interested in anyway, it was Bewick’s Swans (dvergsvane) or White-fronted Geese (tundragås) but these were not to be found despite me locating some flocks of Canada and Greylag Geese and Whooper Swans (sangsvane) as I continued on my travels. A few Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) were new though and correlate with large flocks reported heading south from Trøndelag the last couple of days.

The only excitement of the day came from corvids and actually a new bird for me. A flock of Hooded Crows (kråke) feeding in a stubble field attracted my attention and I stopped the car to scan them and to my surprise there were two black birds amongst them. One was an obvious adult Rook (kornkråke) but the other had a black bill. At some range in the binoculars I wasn’t sure whether it was a Carrion Crow (svartkråke) or a young Rook. I noticed what looked like a brownish tinge to the plumage which I couldn’t explain. So I decided to fire off as many pictures as I could to see if I could work out what it was at home (Carrion Crows and young Rooks look very similar). At home I actually found it was something else:  a hybrid Carrion x Hooded Crow and the first time I’ve seen this type of hybrid. What I took to be a brown tinge to the plumage was actually dark grey.

At home the Blackcap (munk) is still feeding on the elder berries and our window feeder is very popular.

I had only one Great Grey Shrike (varsler) in the day which was at a new location although I failed to see any at six other locations where I have seen the species over the last couple of weeks.

Two and a Half Corvids- Rook, Hood Crow and Carrion x Hooded Crow hybrid

Carrion x Hood Crow


the hybrid

Long-tailed Tits (stjertmeis) showed today as well

Blue Tit (blåmeis) and the popular window feeder

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