Friday, 27 March 2015

Fornebu post snowfall

Yesterday's snow was still thick on the ground today despite temperatures being a few degrees on the plus side. I thought there would be a chance of some congregations of birds searching for food and headed for Fornebu. Every visit here is depressing in terms of the rapid building development that is taking place. It is a bit ironic that the new developments are being given bird names but it is doubtful that the new human residents will ever see the birds whose names adorn their apartments.
There is still plenty of birdlife here though especially in migration periods and the land awaiting development has lots of seed bearing plants. As soon as I got off the bus I could hear Twite (bergirisk) and soon found an active flock of around 80 birds. Amongst them were also many Skylark (sanglerke) with over 30 birds present. Best of all though were 14 Snow Buntings (snøspurv). Strangest siting was 2 Ringed Plovers (sandlot) which first flew over calling and then landed amongst the feeding passerines and stood on the snow. This is the area where they at least attempted to breed last year so this is likely to be a pair already back on territory. This area turned out to be the best bit of Fornebu and it was quite hard work trudging around in the heavy snow which resulted in my knee complaining loudly. A calling Water Rail (vannrikse) briefly glimpsed as it ran over frozen ditch was my first of the year.

I next headed for Bygdøy where I quickly refound the White-fronted Goose (tundrågås). The geese were digging through the snow to get to the grass and were feeding actively.

In Frognerparken birds were mostly the same as the previous couple of days. The Coots (sothøne) are a male and female and now look like a pair although two days ago seemed to be rivals. The male tried his luck although was rebuffed. The female sports a green colour ring and after studying my picture I found out she is called A028 and was ringed 2km away at Smestaddammen as an adult in July 2013. It looks like she bred at Hovindammen also in Oslo in 2014 and was spotted there on 18 March but has now chosen Frognerparken. If they breed here then this would be for the first time as far as I can make out. It is interesting to think of these Coots flying over Oslo and choosing new locations. I have never seen them flying around and I guess it happens only at night. Highlight though was a Moorhen (sivhøne) which was also a year tick and which seems to be establishing itself as a regular breeder here.

Collecting Jr Jr from school I heard geese and had a flock of 75 Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) flying west as relatively low altitude. To the north were low clouds and rain so they had probably thought better of continuing their northerly migration and were looking for somewhere to go down.

Twite (bergirisk)


Snow Buntings (snøspurv)

a bit of squabbling

male Snow Bunting and 2 Twite

habitat shot
Skylark (sanglerke)


Ringed Plover, Twite and snow - an unexpected combination

the other Ringed Plover with a Snow Bunting sneaking into the pictures

The White-fronted Goose

The ringed Coot and my attempts to read off the ring


immature Cormorant - the angles of the gular patch and the placement of the bottom corner of the gular behind the eye show this to be of the continental sub species sinensis rather than the northern sub species carbo

Mallard (stokkand) on a branch

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