Monday, 29 December 2014

Juletide birding

I managed just under an hour of real in the flesh birding today whilst visiting family in Tønsberg. The bird rich bay at Presterødkilen was frozen over but at the edge of the ice by Rosanes there was quite a concentration of birds visible in the half light of a late December overcast morning. Most exciting was a male Smew (lappfiskand) probably the first male of this species I have seen for over a year. Some interesting behaviour came from a mixed flock of Scaup (bergand) and Wigeon (brunnakke). The Scaup were actively feeding by diving and coming up with grass like vegetation which the Wigeon would then either eat what was discarded by the Scaup or sometimes try to steal from the Scaup. Without this source of food I cannot see how the Wigeon would be able to survive here when there is so much ice.

The male Smew - even white birds look grey on days like this
This Grey Heron would presumably have had trouble catching a fish from this position
The mixed Scaup and Wigeon flock

I had a small redpoll flock also containing a single Siskin (grønnsisk) which is a scarce sight this winter. One bird was a Lesser Redpoll (brunsisik) but the rest including this bird looked more like Common (Mealy) Redpolls (gråsisik) although this bird does have a quite buffy coloured wing bar which might be more consistent with it being a Lesser - not always an easy subject matter.

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