Monday, 10 October 2016

It's definitely autumn

It's really feeling autumnal now. Temperatures have fallen with the first frost last week and with northerly winds at the moment if felt quite bitter today. The trees have suddenly adopted their autumn colours and the sun is low in the sky.

I tried a few places around Nordre Øyeren today and definitely noticed the changing seasons. There are fewer dabbling ducks, geese and waders, hardly any raptors and no swallows but there are thrushes on the move, long-tailed tits, flocks of Bramblings in stubble fields, my first Waxing of the autumn and a Jack Snipe. Shovelers are still in good numbers and I had a Taiga Bean Goose with some Pink-feet.

In Maridalen I had my first Great Grey Shrike of the autumn there. It was an adult bird with a dark bill and lores and could well be the bird that wintered last year (which was then in its 1st winter). I had hoped that the bird would return and allow me to study the different plumage but I doubt whether it will stay the winter. There is far less stubble (and with it rodents) this year as the farmer has already ploughed and sowed a number of fields that were left as stubble all through last winter. When this happens the fields are a lot less attractive through the winter and the next spring so it is a shame that the farmer does this but it is I believe a result of winters being shorter and less harsh and giving new opportunities.
Great Grey Shrike (varsler) and autumnal colours in Maridalen

closer look showing the sold dark lores and dark grey bill of an adult bird

Taiga Bean Goose (sædgås) with Pink-footed Geese (kortnebbgås)

A Jack Snipe (kortnebbgås)!?!

Long-tailed Tit (stjertmeis). All 7 birds in a flock had gleaming white heads

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