Tuesday, 12 January 2016


Today was more or less a carbon copy of yesterday but the hoped for sunny weather didn’t materialise although there was a bit less wind. In Maridalen there are still good numbers of Common Crossbills and amongst a flock of 12 I once again had a male giving a very 2BC like trumpet call showing once again just how unwise it can be to record this species on call alone.

More tits are coming to the feeders and Crested Tits are also amongst them which is normally a sign that food is hard to find in the forest.

At Fornebu the Bearded Tits once again showed but this time I saw four females and three males so in answer to my question yesterday: yes there clearly are more than six birds. I also suspect there may have been another group but cannot be sure as although the birds were in different parts of the reedbed enough time had elapsed for it possibly to have been the same group which had moved. I actually saw the Water Rail today although not long enough for a photo. I’ve put some food out for it (apparently they like porridge/oat flakes) so maybe I can get it into a routine. They food may end up just being eaten by Blackbirds though with a number actively feeding in the same ditch as the Water Rail.

This open water was also used by a flock of 35 Waxwing who bathed in and drank from it. They were feeding on some nearby berries which I believe have only recently become edible for them as a result of being broken down by the freezing temperatures. They allowed very close approach and great photo opps.

Two straightforward Lesser Redpolls allowed themselves to be studied at close range and I later had a classic Common/Mealy Redpoll also at close range. If only all redpolls could be this easy.

There were a number of Guillemots on the fjord off Fornebu with three Razorbills amongst them and the biggest surprise was a female Wigeon.

In the garden the Blackbirds were already to be seen from the light of the kitchen window at 0703 and I found myself preparing food for both the kids and the Blackbirds. There were at least 11 birds in the garden (3 females, 4 1st winter males and 4 older males) with four of these (including the return of the tailless female) being new from yesterday making at least 14 birds over the last two days. Clearly rumours about the quality of the food available in the garden has spread through the neighbourhood but also meaning I need to make sure there is enough food for them all – I am giving them bread, apples and oat flakes.
Get prepared for lots of Waxwing photos......
this Waxwing (sidensvans) was preening after bathing

it ran each flight feather through its bill to remove moisture

each bird used a lot of time sorting their feathers out as in the freezing cold it could be fatal to leave the feathers wet

equally attractive when taken from behind (ooh er missus)

And now a lot of redpoll photos. First two Lesser Redpolls (brunsisik):
a fine male Lesser Redpoll (brunsisik). Buffy wingbars, tertial edges, face and flanks. Also dark rump

the buff tinge to the undertail coverts is also a good sign for separating from Common/Mealy. Also quite a lot of streaking on the undertail coverts
same bird as above

the other individual. This has pale tramlines on the back and surprisingly white wing bars for a Lesser
but Lesser it is. Nice buffy face, breast and flanks
here we see that the bird is tailless

it is just possible to see that the undertail coverts are also washed with buff

And a classic Common/Mealy Redpoll (gråsisik):

Common/Mealy Redpoll (gråsisik). Much frostier on the back and face. White wing bars and edges to the tertials
Pale (but not white) rump

White underneath including the undertail coverts. Too many and too large dark feathers in undertail coverts for Arctic Redpoll (polarsisik)
an overall much paler bird lacking the buffy tons to breast and flanks

Wren (gjerdesmett). This species has been common so far this winter but may suffer in the current cold spell
the Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis) pictures were not good today with too many reeds in the way. Here 2 females and a male

three Blackbirds (svarttrost) finding food in a ditch which also hosted a Water Rail which didn't allow itself to be photographed

Common Guillemot (lomvi) with a very prominent tomium stripe which is normally considered a diagnostic character for Brunnich's Guillemot (polarlomvi)

the same Guillemot showing the prominent tomium stripe on both sides of the bill plus a 2cy Razorbill (alke)

this male Teal (krikkand) is an unusual wintering species for Fornebu
incorrect camera settings once again resulted in some interesting pictures:
Common Redpoll


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