Thursday, 21 January 2016

A little bit here, and a little bit there

Today was another day of cold temperatures and no wind but from tomorrow evening we will see a new weather front coming in from the south with cloud and even the possibility of plus temperatures next week. Oslo is suffering a lot from air pollution due to the cold air and lack of wind which apparently creates a “lid” over the city and keeps all the pollution inside and from high up one can see a layer of smog lying over the city.

Today I explored the bay at Holtekilen which is an area of Fornebu which receives very little attention but can probably hold some good birds occasionally. I was hoping to refind yesterday’s Kingfisher but failed in that errand even though there are areas of open water holding some ducks and even a Grey Heron. In Storøykilen I saw tracks of Water Rail and heard a Wren so there is still some life in the reedbed.
The fjord is now starting to freeze over and off Bygdøy is completely frozen although I doubt thick enough yet for people to walk on it. I hoped this would cause concentrations of ducks on the few open areas which had happened but these were mostly Mallards with over 500 birds with just smaller numbers of Goldeneyes and Tufted Ducks and nothing more exciting.

Oslo’s wintering Peregrine has been difficult to pin down so far this winter but seems now to have settled down to its traditional look out post on the Plaza Hotel and I saw it there today.
I had itchy feet today and also visited Østensjøvannet where there is just one area of open water with considerably fewer Mallards than before but otherwise all the usual suspects were present including 24 Coot and the deformed 1st winter bird is still alive but looking in very poor shape. I know that people are making sure that it gets food but suspect that a bread diet will not be enough for this poor creature which should perhaps be allowed to let nature take its toll.

The Peregrine (vandrefalk) at some distance

there was also a close encounter with Waxwings (sidensvans) today with rosehips on the menu

this Grey Heron at Fornebu was looking for food amongst the cracks in the ice where presumably there was some open water

this dead Herring Gull (gråmåke) by the roadside at Østensjøvannet had frozen solid in its death throws

the (now ringed of course) female Pintail (stjertand) at Østensjøvannet

the Wigeon x Mallard hybrid

these two coots have very different feet. The bird on the left is an adult whereas the ringed bird is a 1st winter which explains the different colouration but the marked size difference is down to sex. The larger feet belong to a male

the deformed young Coot is, despite being in terrible condition,still alive
it can actually flap its wings
beautiful eye colour

a group of Feral Pigeons drank from the edge of the ice and then despite the temperature jumped in for a quick bath
the Oslo Fjord looking south from Fornebu
and here looking North towards Bygdøy and Oslo. This is now frozen over
sun rise over Oslo at 0855 taken from Voksenkollen
here the smog over the city can be seen

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