Sunday, 16 October 2016


Today was the day for the local bird clubs annual boat trip around the islands in the Inner Oslo Fjord. Perhaps because of the cold weather, perhaps because a lack of southerly winds means a general lack of seabirds in the fjord or perhaps just general apathy meant that we were barely more than 20 people who took the trip. Those who didn’t come have nothing to regret. No divers, no grebes, no terns, no skuas. Auks were represented by just 2 Razorbills, waders by a single Dunlin and it was only sea ducks that were in any (relative) numbers. Highlight was a group of 5 Long-tailed Ducks, there were over 50 Velvet Scoters and about 10 Common Scoters and quite a few Eiders and R-b Mergansers. No interesting raptors either with just Sparrowhawks and a probably Goshawk (seen only from behind). A single flyover Snow Bunting was a fairly god record and 21 Blue Tits migrating north over the fjord were a sign of the large invasion of this species into Southern Scandinavia.
We had at least 6 Common Seals but no Grey Seals.

After the boat trip was over I thought I would strop briefly in Maridalen to see if there were any scoters on the lake. Of course not but there was a Red-throated Diver (why none on the fjord?). The Jack Snipe was still there although I failed to see him on the deck. A small bunting that didn’t call had me going for a bit but ended up being a Reed (what looks like Oslo & Akershus’s first record of Little Bunting was seen in suburban Oslo yesterday).

Long-tailed Ducks (havelle) The bird on the left is definitely a (young) male and the bird to its right also has pale scapulars making it also a male but not as advanced in its plumage
Two male Common Velvet Scoters (sjøorre). The left hand bird may well be a 2nd winter bird as its bill is not as yellow and the white eye patch not as large as the bird on the right
Razorbill (alke) - a 1st winter bird based on the relatively small bill
Dunlin (myrsnipe), Cormorant (storskarv) and Herring Gull (gråmåke)

The Dunlin
Two Common Seals (steinkobbe)
The Jack Snipe (kvartbekkasin) - slightly better exposure but still a crap picture

this young Pink-footed Goose (kortnebbgås) has been in Maridalen a couple of weeks. It can fly but presumably has some weakness, otherwise it would be with its kin further south


  1. Got to be a typo there Mr Rix - those don't look like Common Scoter to me.....

  2. Thx Jules. See you really can't quite give up ;-)