Monday, 29 February 2016

Nice 'pecker

Back in business birding with a trip to Fornebu. Low cloud and freezing temperatures didn’t give much of a spring feeling for me but others who went to the right places could record the first Shelduck, Oystercatcher and Starling of the year.

I had to make do with my first Lesser Spotted Woodpecker of the year. Unlike Great Spotted Woodpeckers he has not yet started drumming or displaying and was most interested in a grub he must have detected and spent over 35 minutes digging out of a quite small branch. Bearded Tits are still present and I glimpsed one in flight although otherwise they only gave away their presence through the occasional call. I saw three different Water Rails in the reedbeds although none paused for me to take a photo.

In Maridalen I didn’t see either Willow Tit or Redpoll but the Great Grey Shrike was still present. There were lots of activity from Great Spotted Woodpeckers and I had very close views of one taking the seeds from a spruce cone.
male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (dvergspett) - this is an unusual pose as usually the tail is held flat against the tree for support
attacking the branch to get at a bug buried deep

hear the head is deep in the hole it has excavated
this was an old(er) hole on the other side of the branch
and he was also using this to try to get to the bug

in action

this hole was excavated in a minimum of 35 minutes

Great Spotted Woodpecker (flaggpett). Here it has wedged the cone in a rotten tree and is holding it with its feet whilst trying to get the seeds out

its long beak comes in useful

the cone needed rearranging
here the long (and strong) tail feathers can be seen which keep the woodpecker stable when its is hammering away

this female Green Woodpecker (grønnspett) also showed in Maridalen
the Great Grey Shrike (varsler) was of course on show

for once he looked at me

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