Monday, 14 December 2015

Starting down the slippery slope again

I thought I’d put those days behind me – the days when I would desperately chase down my daily dose of the best birding high there is. A period of forced abstinence put me in charge of my habit and since then I’ve managed to enjoy the occasional recreational dose of Hawkie and then walk away. Last night though I felt that empty feeling in stomach starting to grow and by the time I woke up this morning I knew that I had to go visit a dealer and luckily there is one currently hanging about by a layby in Hurum close to Oslo.

I had all my equipment packed to enjoy the shot to the max and set off praying that I would find the dealer. I didn’t find him immediately and started to get panicky but luckily a member of the local anti-Hawkie brigade (a Great Spotted Pecker) was trying to get Hawkie to leave the area and the local youngsters alone and was scolding him loudly. And there he was…….The equipment came out: camera and tripod, I got within range, pressed in the shutter and enjoyed the rush.

 Light wasn’t great; it was cloudy although not overcast but there was no sunlight. Everything was covered in a thick layer of frost though so it was very atmospheric. There were a few Common Crossbills also in the area which were a bit agitated by the owl but little else. As is always the case with winter Hawk Owls it is difficult to work out why they have chosen exactly this particular area but it has been around a few weeks now so there would seem to be a good supply of rodents for it.

 On the way home I stopped at Fornebu. Bearded Tits were calling when I arrived at the reedbed and were fairly vocal all the time. The reason I could hear them was because they were very close and I could see reeds moving less than 10 metres from me. I have just read an interesting note on Beardies in British Birds and now understand that they feed mostly on the ground which explains why they can be so difficult to see. I watched for half an hour and could be sure from movement and noises that there were a minimum of three birds in front of me but I only glimpsed one which briefly flew a couple of metres. In addition I heard birds from another area and saw one of these flying over the reeds so had an absolute minimum of four birds.
This favoured lookout post was in a garden - maybe they have a rodent problem

stretch to the right
and just a bit more

here having a bit of feather care

got an itch, need to move

and I'm off


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