Monday, 2 November 2015

Birding high

I was on the cusp of entering birders depression today but left with a good trip on birders ecstasy although fear I now have a high cliff to fall off. With blue skies (but cloud forecast the rest of the week) I had (?) to have another go for the Beardies at Fornebu. This would be my fourth attempt after another dip yesterday when I had the family in tow and we had other people proudly showing us back of the camera shots of the tits that had been exposed only minutes before...
Well we did not have sight nor sound of them but he who dares, he who dares….

Unfortunately today the blue skies over the house were swapped with mist at Fornebu and meeting two forlorn birders on their way home after not scoring did not exactly leave me hopeful but I trudged on and sat myself down in a place where I have a good overview of the reedbed although with the mist it was an audible overview rather than a visual one.
I had not been sitting long when I thought I heard a Kingfisher but wasn’t sure if it really was one. I heard it a few more times as the clocked ticked by and eventually decided to move closer to where I thought the noise was coming from. It called again and now I felt sure it was a Kingfisher but would I be able to see it? I was just able to make out a short stretch the edge of the reedbed where it met the open water and scanned this through the mist when I picked out something blue!! Over the course of the next hour the mist slowly cleared and it was all very atmospheric. Three Snipe were feeding along the edge of the reeds and the Kingfisher hung around, calling occasionally and flying short distances. Then after an hour and a half a pair of Beardies suddenly were in the reed tops calling (I assume they had flown in from somewhere close by) and the trip was gaining momentum. The Beardies showed on the edge of the reeds at some distance and then silently melted away leaving me with some record shots. Checking my pictures at home though I found out that I had unbeknown to me taken a picture with both Kingfisher and Beardie in it!!!

The mist burned off completely and the Kingfisher was preening and sunning itself in great light but unfortunately now was too far away for any good shots. The Beardies though turned up again and I had 30 seconds of them in the sun at relatively close range which I used to fill my boots. Yet again though they just melted silently away. Whilst searching for them I suddenly heard lots of Beardies but had no idea where the sound was coming from until I realised they were above me and suddenly a flock of at least 5 birds just dropped into the reedbed kept, kept on calling for a few seconds, were nosily joined by the original pair and then all went silent. Where had this flock come from? The Great Big Dump? Or perhaps from Sweden?

Isn’t birding a kick?
Sorry Dad! This is what I meant to show you yesterday - male Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis)
female Bearded Tit
I feared for a while that this was going to be my best photo of them
and then when they came close I couldn't focus because of the reeds but it all turned out fine in the end :-)
my first photo of the Kingfisher (isfugl) through the mist
the light eventually was fantastic but the distance way too far
I wonder if this is a unique shot in Norway - Kingfisher and Bearded Tit together
Kingfisher and Mallards
I had hoped that you could see the reflection of the Kingfisher but it doesn't seem so
the most striking part of a Kingfisher is actually the back

these three Common Snipe (enkeltbekkasin) emerged briefly from the reedbed


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