Wednesday, 2 December 2015


Today we had a return to grey overcast weather but a dusting of snow gave a nice wintery feel.
In Maridalen the Great Grey Shrike was looking for food a couple of kilometres from its usual spot indicating that food is becoming scarce. It was by some houses where they feed birds and was I imagine hoping to grab a Blue Tit.
There were three Mute Swans on the lake: a pair and a lone juvenile that has already been left to its own devices.
At Fornebu I could see the evidence of the extreme high tides we have had recently with a tide mark over a metre higher than normal high water. This high water has apparently been caused by the storms that have hit further south and there was lots of flotsam floating out on the fjord.
The snow allowed me to see the tracks of a Water Rail although the bird of course remained unseen and also unheard. In the reedbed I had Blue Tits masquerading as Bearded Tits and feeding amongst them I found a Reed Bunting. A December sighting here is even rarer than the Beardies so I would have been happy with this but eventually the Beardies started calling and three birds showed. This time it was 2 males and a female so I've no idea how many were actually present.

Strangest sighting of the day and a Fornebu tick was a Dipper. It was feeding on the tiny stream that runs through one of the reedbeds and where I had hoped to find a Water Rail but definitely not a Dipper. It then proceeded to fly up into a tree and act very differently to how I expect this species to act. Presumably the snow had pushed it off a more suitable territory.

Dipper (fossekall) - not how you normally expect to see them

more normal habitat

male and female Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis). They did not come close today

all three of the birds I saw but there were probably more

a very poor picture of a Crested Tit (toppmeis) in Maridalen but look at that haircut!

the shrike was perched right by the road (picture is taken from the car) but just a bit too high up

This is the reedbed at Fornebu. The water never normally goes higher than this at high tide but look at the tidemark on the reeds from recent high water
a foggy Maridalsvannet with a lonely juvenile Mute Swan (knoppsvane)
Reed Bunting (sivspurv) - the rarest bird of the day

Water Rail (vannrikse) tracks in the fresh snow

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