BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Long-tailed Tits

The change in weather brought very strong southerly winds today, in fact much stronger than forecast and there were big white tops to the waves on the fjord. Bird activity was, not surprisingly, reduced but there were some birds to find. I took a trip down to the Drøbak area where I picked up two of the four Great Grey Shrikes in the Golden Triangle. There was nothing unusual on or over the sea despite the winds but I did pick up a distant Purple Sandpiper on the island of Småskjær.

I found a large (ca.100) flock of Yellowhammers which is the largest flock I have found this winter of a species that has been much scarcer than usual around Oslo. If one has ambitions of finding a rare bunting (there are two Pine Buntings wintering in Norway) then these flocks have to be grilled. Apart from a few females lacking nearly all trace of yellow tones there was nothing other than Hammers in the flock though.

I stopped at Østensjøvannet on the way home and despite the lake still being 99% frozen there were signs of spring and some small changes in the birdlife. Seven Greylag Geese was a 600% over the wintering population and 13 Mute Swans were back – a sign of the intense competition for nesting sites here. There were also a lot more Herring Gulls mooching about on the ice than earlier and they were bathing and drinking in the fresh water and it wouldn’t surprise me if these are birds from the tip and that the Caspo will pop in here occasionally. Biggest sign of spring though was a fly over Grey Wagtail (vintererle) which despite its Norwegian name is definitely not a winter bird. A pair of Long-tailed Tits provided the days photo motif.
Long-tailed Tit (stjertmeis) at Østensjøvannet






 
amongst the Yellowhammers were birds such as the one on the right with only minimal yellow tones in the plumage and which required an extra look
the Great Grey Shrike (varsler) in the northern territory
and the one close by at Årungen
the male Wigeon x Mallard hybrid is still present at Østensjøvannet and looking a bit smarter now
from behind there is a blue sheen to the head
this male Mallard (stokkand) stands out amongst its kin due to a slight smaller size and the blue rather than yellow bill. I think this may be due to it having genetic influence from a type of domestic duck
 
the escaped female Ruddy Shelduck has spent the whole winter here and survived whereas last winter it left for the winter

No comments:

Post a Comment