Friday, 24 April 2015

Change in change in birds

Neither the weather nor the birds lived up to expectations today. I had interpreted the weather forecast to be thick cloud and southerly winds today which was such a change from the previous weeks weather that I was sure that there would be new birds even if there was no rain. Well the cloud was not thick and the sun often shone through and the wind took a long time to veer to the south. Consequently there was virtually no visible migration or new birds. That doesn’t mean that a morning in Maridalen wasn’t thoroughly enjoyable but the expectations I had when I awoke at 0445 were definitely not met.

Both Black-throated (storlom) and Red-throated Divers (smålom) were displaying on the lake and this always makes for an atmospheric sunrise especially when there is no wind and the lake was like a mirror. Highlight of the day was getting my best views so far of Maridalens own sub species of Parrot Crossbill (furukorsnebb). There were a couple of small pine trees behind where I was sitting and after I had kept thinking I could hear some distant crossbills calling I realised that they were actually a couple of birds just behind me. They were feeding intensively on small cones which kept falling to the floor. I spent a lot of time trying to get good photos and despite the light not being so bad I found it incredibly frustrating and difficult. I either had the birds perched with a white sky behind them or feeding inside the tree with pine cones in the way but after firing off many hundred shots there are at least some that can be used for ID purposes…. These birds gave a larger-billed impression than I have noticed before and were classic Parrots IMO. They fed on the pine cones by clipping them off with their bill and then holding them in their feet and picking out the seeds. They also flew into spruce and birch trees and looked to be eating lichen.
A few raptors showed during the day with finally some evidence of Sparrowhawk (spurvehauk) passage.
Black-throated Diver (storlom)

with back lighting

Chiffchaff (gransanger)

Curlew (storspove) - two that flew in from the south landed. Seeing Curlews on the deck in Maridalen is a rare site although Whimbrels (småspove)often stop to feed in May

male Goosander (laksand). Today a single female was repeatedly chased around by 3 males
montage of a hunting Osprey (fisekørn)

male Parrot Crossbill (furukorsnebb) with a pine cone

now to extract some seeds which is why evolution has given me this ridiculous bill
I need to use my tongue as well
and my feet to hold the cone

another cone please

grainy picture of the female but showing her to be equally large billed

here the male is looking huge billed. This picture was taken 45 minutes later than the other pictures but is I believe the same male although it does look large billed and more orange coloured

both birds flew to some birch trees where they seemed to pick off lichen

slightly blurred but parrot billed

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