Monday, 12 October 2015

Local twitching

I engaged in some local twitching today. Østensjøvannet had a couple of Little Grebes to offer me which is a surprisingly rare Oslo species and this was only the second record this year although late autumn is the best time. I also had a first for Oslo in the form of a male Green-winged Teal (amerikakrikkand) or did I?

An unusual observation here was a Coot feeding on a football pitch. I am used to seeing Coots eating grass on land from the UK but surprisingly at Østensjøvannet it is not a behaviour I can remember having noted. The bird looked healthy and ran for safety to a ditch but had a broken lower mandible that may have explained its behaviour although I can’t imagine how it would be easier to graze grass than pond weed. It looked like it was injured on the back of its neck and well have been chased away by its kin and was therefore just trying to avoid bullying.

My next destination was Fornebu where a Richard’s Pipit (tartarpiplerke) was reported yesterday. There was a run of records of this species here a few years ago but with the ever shrinking areas of suitable habitat I was surprised that one had turned up again. I set about searching the areas of long grass when I heard the distinct call of a Dick and then picked up the bird – a large pipit – which looked to have just flown up from north in Nansenpark and flew over the school towards the southern tip of Storøya. I failed to get any pictures as my camera just couldn’t focus on the distant dot. This encounter was typical of the few times I have seen Richard’s Pipit so it is very galling to see some recently posted pictures where others (elsewhere in Norway) have had exceptionally good views of this species. There was little else at Fornebu although a single Wheatear and 3 Chiffchaffs were late migrants.

Little in Maridalen either although there were 5 very distant ducks that were regularly diving and were probably Velvet Scoters.
The day's highlight for a few seconds at least. Looks just like a Green-winged Teal (amerikakrikkand)....

..except for the fact that the white vertical stripe is a discarded swan feather
looks painful. 1cy Coot with broken lower mandible

Lesser Redpoll (brunsisik)

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another Lesser Redpoll and this one more classically plumaged
Little Grebe (dvergdykker)

the other Little Grebe. This bird is I believe a 1cy whereas the other an adult


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