Thursday, 14 January 2016


Yesterday social media was alive with reports of a newly arrived consignment of high grade Hawkie on the streets of Drammen. Last night was tortuous as I tossed and turned in a sweat drenched bed. I had made a new year’s resolution that I was going to go clean in 2016 – no more Hawkie, start a new and clean chapter in my life. But when I woke this morning the lure of Hawkie was too much. I didn’t let the girls realise the turmoil I was in (being the well practiced addict I am) but as soon as they had left for work and school I laid my plan for a hit.
I packed the equipment I needed to gain a maximum high and headed off. When I arrived at the reported hangout of the dealer there was no sign of him. But that was perhaps not surprising since it was right next to a school and the authorities would no doubt have chased off Hawkie for fear of all the low life that he would attract and the effect this may have on all the innocent school kids. I hang around in the shadows but saw no sign of the high I was looking for and a couple of Marsh Tits were good enough for no more than a momentary kick (it seems though that I should have searched harder as Hawkie was apparently still there albeit well hidden today).

I should have taken this lack of success as a sign that I should adopt the clean life that I had promised myself but instead I just went searching for any other dealers that might be out there and remembered the one I visited before Xmas which was less than half an hour away. I drove there with some haste but never quite made it. I found a new Hawkie! And as usual he was selling his wares right by a busy road. Too busy in fact to hang around and I had to make do with a low grade shot. I could have put my life in danger to get a better quality high but didn’t – is this a sign that my addiction is treatable?
After this fun I headed back to Oslo and stopped, yes you’ve guessed it, as Fornebu. It was fantastic conditions: bright and sunny, windless and crisp at -10C. The Beardies were calling and quite close to the path but frustratingly difficult to see. I saw three females and a single male but there were more birds in the group. Five Reed Buntings flew in and joined the Bearded Tits. I had noticed that yesterday’s single bunting seemed to be loosely associating with the Beardies and maybe they are seeking out each other’s company in the same way that tits of different species join up to give protection from predators.

I had two Lesser Redpolls feeding with a Common Redpoll which allowed direct comparison of plumage. One of the Lessers lacked its tail and was the same as the second bird I photographed in the same place two days ago. The other Lesser was not a colourful male and therefore different from the first bird from two days ago.
Driving home I had a flyover Wood Pigeon which are proving very scarce this winter and in the garden I had 13 Blackbirds at one time and a minimum of 14 birds noted during the day – they eat a lot of apples and leave a lot of interesting droppings in their wake…
a shot of Hawkie whilst in the warmth of the car
it was at the top of a VERY high tree and the light was on the wrong side....
a female Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis) showing briefly

another female - close but difficult to see

a Marsh Tit (løvmeis). A species that occurs just south and east of Oslo but not in Oslo

Blue Tit (blåmeis)
winter at Fornebu. The salt water fjord has frozen now
the reedbed at Koksa, Fornebu. The reeds are home to the Beardies and the redpolls today were on the weeds just behind the fence
a reed!

And those redpolls again. All pictures are taken through a wire fence but have come out mostly OK

Common/Mealy Redpoll (gråsisik) top and Lesser Redpoll (brunsisik) bottom

Lesser (left) and Common (right). This Lesser is not one of the most buffy individuals but looks straightforward enough
brown rump of Lesser and whitish of Common. Lesser also has buffy flanks whereas Common has white
the other tailless Lesser with the same Common
tailless Lesser compared to Common

the Common Redpoll

the tailless Lesser
the other Lesser

a final picture of the Common wit a bit of the rump visible

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