Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Return of the wing bars

It remains warm and wet but luckily a lot of the ice has now melted making things a bit safer. The light was also better today so I ventured back to Langvannet hoping to have another meeting with the Caspian Gull but I failed to see it or the hybrid from two days ago which just goes to show how much movement there is by the city’s gulls between various locations. A Russian colour ringed Herring Gull was the most interesting sighting.

Heading back into Oslo I stopped again at the Botanical Gardens. The thaw has resulted in a significant reduction in birds which presumably use the opportunity to search for food in other areas but will return to the gardens when the cold and snow returns. I gave myself an hour on the parking meter and walked the park a couple of times with frequent stops at the 2BCs favoured trees but without seeing them. With just 5 minutes to go Rune Zak turned up and we went to the trees because this gave a view towards the Plaza hotel where I had seen the Peregrine perching distantly. The Peregrine was gone but a look at the recently favoured Weymouth Pine revealed a finch sitting at the top. I struggled to see whether it was a Greenfinch or a 2BC (the crossed beak is not always so obvious in this the smallest of the Crossbill species) but the wing bars soon came into view. Eventually, and before I had to run to the car, 3 females revealed themselves but they didn’t call and were quite hard to find. Makes me wonder if they have been in this tree all the time. 4 Hawfinches, 7 Long-tailed Tits and 50 Fieldfares were the best of the rest.
one of the three female Two-barred Crossbills eve higher up than usual and also completely silent whilst I was there
with the thaw the Fieldfares were also looking for worms on the grass in addition to, as here, feeding on berries
I'm not quite sure what type of tree this is but 4 Hawfinches were feeding unobtrusively in it
both 1st winter argentatus Herring Gulls - the white ring is from Russian and the black ring from Norway although it was fitted on 18 October 32km away so we don't know where it hatched
this bird looks like it swallowed more bread than it could swallow
the Mallard on the right attracted my attention and had me wondering whether it could be an offspring of the not so pure Black Duck (left) that has been in Tønsberg for more than a decade. It could equally just have some domestic duck genes in it though. It was the generally dark colouration plus the scapulars and tertials that gave me a Black Duck vibe


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