Sunday, 11 January 2015

Snow dump

Oslo has been transformed by its first big dump of snow this winter. We awoke on Saturday morning to a good 30cm of fresh snow and it continued snowing until noon and with a new dump on Saturday night. Mr and Mrs Oslobirder used to enjoy regular walks along the length of Akerselva from Nydalen down to the Plaza hotel, a walk of c.7km. The addition of Oslobirder jr. sr and Oslobirder jr. jr. put an end to that but jr. jr. is now old enough to manage the walk. Not without a lot of moaning mind you but we completed it yesterday a dinner at TGIs was a welcome reward for the clan.

There are always some birds to see along the river and at the end of the walk always the faint hope of a good gull. Just Herring Gulls (gråmåke) yesterday but a feeding Grey Heron (hegre) and a couple of Cormorants (storskarv) point to there being a good population of small fish in the river – maybe a Kingfisher isfugl) will turn up? A flock of Long-tailed Tits (stjertmeis) were in the same area as on New Years day but surprisingly I saw no Dippers (fossekall) or Goosanders (laksand) along the river.
fresh snow and a low midday sun in Oslo

this Grey Heron seemed very much at home here along Akerselva

 Today the garden has had an influx of Blackbirds (svarttrost). There have been a minimum of 5 males, 3 of which are clear adults, one a 1st winter and a fifth bird what I assume to be a 2nd winter. There are at least two females one of which is missing its tail and has been around a few weeks but I haven’t made an attempt to age the females. When there are so many in the garden I try to put out apples in different places such that they can all eat but they are very territorial and spend more time chasing each other away than feeding. The dominant birds are rather surprisingly the tailless female and the 1st winter male with the adult males being particularly wimpish.
Queen of the Blackbirds. Physical beauty isn't everything as this tailless individual rules the roost. A lack of obvious moult contrast in the greater coverts suggests this is an adult

male Blackbirds. The left hand bird is a clear adult. The right hand bird though has black on its bill but otherwise the plumage looks adult and I'm sure that a 1st winter male could not look this adult like. Is it therefore a 2nd winter male or do some adult males have some black on their bill?

male Siskin (grønnsisik) and Blue Tit (blåmeis) in the garden

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