Monday, 30 November 2015

Great Grey Shrike

After a weekend with rain and strong winds it looks like the Arctic Tern has moved on. It was already the latest recorded observation in Norway (as far as I can make out) but it would have been cool if it had stayed into December.

All the Waxwings have moved on from the Botanical Gardens as well after stripping bare all the berry trees. Hawfinches remain in good numbers though with at least 15 birds today. At one stage I thought I heard a 2BC with a trumpet call followed a bit later by some typical crossbill calls. Although I didn’t see the birds giving these calls I later had a trumpeting Bullfinch and am quite sure that I had heard this plus a Common Crossbill earlier.

At Fornebu a seal was close offshore. At the time I felt sure it was a Grey Seal (havert) due to a long snout (this species is very scarce here) but looking at my pictures and reading up on the differences between the two species it looks like it was in fact the more regular Common Seal (steinkobbe).

In Maridalen the Great Grey Shrike permitted me to take some very close pictures in warm afternoon sunlight. 
Great Grey Shrike (varsler) Maridalen. The bird is aged as a 1cy due to the pale lores (the area between eye and bill) plus the extensive pale base to the bill

4 of 5 Collared Doves (tyrkerdue) in the Botanical Gardens - this is becoming a scarce species in Oslo
seal off Fornebu. I've eventually concluded with Common Seal (steinkobbe) from the shape of the nostrils

plus the fact the animal has a stepped rather than "roman nose" snout

Velvet Scoters (sjøorre). In the insets there is a 1cy bird on the left with pale belly, then 2 adult females and then 3 adult males


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