Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Little Auks

The storms that have been battering southern and western Norway had clearly caused Little Auks (alkekonge) to flee as a number of records from south of Oslo yesterday showed. I therefore thought I would check out the Oslo fjord this morning. In good light and on a calm sea I had 9 Little Auks from one location, 2 from another and 4 from another. There were birds flying around so it is difficult to know how many there were in total but that there has been a good arrival was clear. The strong winds did not come close to Oslo so it was surprising that so many were on the run especially considering that I failed to see Little Auk in Oslo at al in 2014.

At Huk also caught up with the overwintering Oystercatcher (tjeld) which was feeding on mussels when I saw it and seemed to be in good form. Mid winter records around Oslo are very rare but maybe if we continue with mild winters it will be regular with wintering Oystercatchers?

An interesting record in Oslo today (but not by me) was of a Short-eared Owl (jordugle) seen in flight high over the Botanical Gardens. This is the third record in Oslo since I had one in the neighbours garden in the middle of October and one can wonder whether there is a bird overwintering in the city and finding rodents in gardens and waste areas.
The closest of today's Little Auks

There was incredible light today. Here we see a snow covered Maridalsvannet with a thin layer of mist hanging over it
The Oystercatcher at Huk

the four seals hauled out on rock

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