Thursday, 3 November 2016

Hazel hen

Winter announced its imminent arrival today. We woke to clear skies and temperatures of -5C and tomorrow and Saturday are forecast to have lots of snow. With the crisp and wind free conditions today I thought I would search for Hazel Grouse which would also give me a good work out. The forest was very quiet but the Hazel Grouse showed well with two males singing and showing well (or at least well for this species) in adjacent territories. This bodes well for future guiding trips where this will be a target species.

The onset of winter normally causes an exodus of sea ducks from their mountain breeding sites and I had a hope that this would finally produce some scoter on Maridalsvannet with a wish also for a Long-tailed Duck which has been unusually numerous this autumn. I picked up a flock of 20 or so diving ducks at very long range and had to drive around to the other end of the lake to be able to work out what they were. I was incredibly surprised to discover there were 18 Scaup along with 3 Tufted and 3 Common Scoter. This is only my third record of Scaup here and would appear to be the highest ever number recorded in Oslo (by a long margin). The Whooper Swan family was also present so had not moved on as I had previously believed.

With the snow that is forecast we could well see a new movement of Hawk Owls as they move out of the forests so fingers crossed for a bird in Maridalen next week. 
male Hazel Grouse (jerpe)

Some of the Scaup (bergand). All were probably 1cy birds. Note the Mallard (stokkand) with them which was picking up food that floated to the surface after the Scaup dived for food

with three Common Scoter (svartand) in the background

The 18 Scaup, with 3 Tufted (toppand) to the left and the 3 Common Scoter at the back

zoom out

zoom in

look at those toes

the Whooper Swan (sangsvane) family

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