Thursday, 19 November 2015

Late Arctic Tern

It looks like a small invasion of owls might be starting with another record of Great Grey Owl and a few Hawk Owls being reported in southern Norway. There seems to be a good population of rodents in Maridalen if the continued presence of the Great Grey Shrike is anything to go by so there must be a chance for an owl turning up in Maridalen this winter. This, frosty, morning though it was only the shrike that was present. A Sparrowhawk perched in a very Hawk Owl like posture did cause me to emergency stop the car though!

At Fornebu I thought I had a good chance of finding the Kingfisher as the cold northerly wind was causing small waves on the water meaning that there would only be a few sheltered spots where the Kingfisher could fish. I did not find it where I had expected it to be but then heard it calling and 5 minutes later I found it on the edge of the reeds in an eminently suitable place for fishing in the wind and a very difficult place to discover it. It then did not call again during the course of the next half an hour confirming how difficult it can be to find. Later though it flew around a bit looking for new fishing spots and was then quite noisy. It hung around long enough for both Geoff Acklam (who was nearby) and Rune Z (who was in the office) to get there and see the bird. Jerry Skogbeck also turned up and asked for confirmation of the ID of a bird he had just photographed – it was an Arctic Tern and an exceptionally late individual (could well be the latest record ever in Norway). I drove over to where it was seen and after 10 minutes it flew right over my head. It was far too close and fast moving for my camera and disappeared around the corner quite quickly but seemed to be in good shape and like the Kingfisher is hopefully finding enough small fish in the relatively mild conditions. Still quite a few Razorbills in the area, a few of which were feeding along the shore and many Waxwings to be seen.

 I am still struggling to get better pictures of the Kingfisher than I did on the day I first saw it and todays at a range of around 150metres were certainly not an improvement. I live in hope though…

The Great Grey in Maridalen is still a shrike and not an owl

when the Kingfisher (isfugl) is turning his back at you he really stands out
head on though is another matter

here though he is easy enough to see

I tried some arty flight shots but it was a bit too far away

this pictures is taken through the telescope with about 50x mag and using the zoom on the iPhone camera.
the 1cy Arctic Tern (rødnebbterne). Uncropped with the 500mm
and even closer
here the white diagnostic white trailing edge to the secondaries separates it from the very similar Common Tern
Razorbill (alke) - this bird is an adult due to the large bill with a white band
another Razorbill but this is a 1c bird due to the smaller bill lacking a white band
the Sparrowhawk in Maridalen that got me excited
another at Fornebu. I think both are 1cy males

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