Friday, 21 October 2016


On my way home from my Great Dunnock Hunt on Wednesday I saw, at dusk, a flock of Pink-footed Geese feeding in a roadside field close to Nordre Øyeren. I went back today hoping to find the flock and see if there was anything more exciting amongst them. The flock was on exactly the same field and close to the road. I had my mind set on finding White-fronted Goose and my first sweep through the flock of ca.200 birds revealed nothing other than Pink-foots. The birds were feeding actively with heads down so I went more methodically through the flock bird by bird. And then I suddenly started noticing orange bills and feet! In total there were 12 Tundra (rossicus) Bean Geese amongst the Pink-feet which is a very good count for this (sub) species in these parts. The birds were also quite close and offered good photo opportunities despite it being a very murky day.

Nearby Merkja still had 9 Shoveler which for once offered the chance of an OK photo. I then moved around to the other side of Svellet and first checked the river just to the north. A black bird on the far bank was not a crow and before I raised my binoculars I felt sure I was going to find a Brent Goose and indeed it was! An adult (or at least 2cy+) dark-bellied (bernicla) and a good Akershus bird. Also here a late Lapwing.

On Svellet there were still ca.400 Teal with 10 Pintail, a single late Ruff and an adult White-tailed Eagle that was plunging for fish rather than going after the ducks. All quite exciting!

Nearby Snekkervika had lots of ducks at range and they kept taking off and flying around as though there was a raptor spooking them but I never found it. Autumn is not yet over and maybe next week will offer up a rare Siberian passerine – here’s hoping J
Dark-bellied Brent Goose (ringgås)

Two Tundra Bean Geese (sædgås) closest with Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås) in the background and it looks like also a couple of other Beans

here there was a bit of a stand off between a Pink-foot (left) and a Bean

Bean (left) and Pink-foot. Note the different colours of the back

Amongst a flock of Pink-footed Geese there are often quite different plumages but I don't remember ever having seen a bird so dark (and Bean Goose like) as this before
Shovelers (skjeand)

a late Ruff (brushane) that wasn't looking too happy

adult White-tailed Eagle about to plunge, unsuccessfully, for a fish

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