BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Friday, 11 November 2016

Mighty fine tits


Today was a good, no VERY good birding day. For a number of days, I had been looking forward to Friday because it was forecast to be blue skies, sun, freezing temperatures and no wind. Although I don’t normally trust the forecast too much, it was such a change in weather from the previous days that I believed that they had to have got this one right. And they had. It was -9C outside when we were eating breakfast and as it got light I could see the skies were clear and the bushes weren’t moving. I made my way to Fornebu where I had high hopes of getting to see the Bearded Tits. I heard them almost straight away but before I got to look for them a flock of Long-tailed Tits went past and in the sun light offered good photo opportunities. After they had moved on I turned my attention back to finding the Beardies. It took some time before they started calling again but when they did I realised they were quite close and eventually I got them down to a few metres as they fed both high and low in the reeds. The sun was unfortunately low and behind the birds but in the end I am pretty darn pleased with some of the pics I got. They were 4 males and 4 females and none of the birds seemed to be ringed. Whilst I was watching them a flock of Redpolls also moved through and also gave good photo opportunities. It really was a quite magical hour I spent with all these birds J

 I had to move on though as I wanted to be in Maridalen when a Hawk Owl was released. This bird had been found a few days ago in the middle of the city and had been in care since but was now deemed fit for release. It was released in the same area as the bird in September and flew off a bit weakly into some dense spruce trees and promptly disappeared from us. Let us hope it survives which unfortunately Septembers bird didn’t. When I saw it the day after release it didn’t look to be in good form and we have recently found out that it was found dead (due to its ring) in the same area a couple of days later. I have seen no real evidence of rodents in Maridalen so this bird will need to be strong enough to move to new areas if it is to find sufficient food.

With the lack of wind Maridalsvannet was in the process of freezing over with an ice mist low over the water. I was very surprised to find that 5 Scaup and 3 Tufted Were back in the same place as before. Why had I only seen 2 Scaup on Wednesday? Had the other birds moved away only to return or did I just not manage to find them?

I took rather a lot of photos and can't decide which are best so will present much too many...
First the Bearded Tits (skjeggmeis)

















And the Hawk Owl being released



whilst at the vets this bird was aged and sexed as a 1cy male. Whilst not doubting this I have no idea what criteria were used. The primaries do all seem to be of the same generation which I guess points to a 1cy bird but no idea how you sex one of these beasts

And the Long-tailed Tits (stjertmeis)







And the Redpolls (look like Common Redpolls of the southern cline this resembling Lesser Redpolls)






Maridalsvannet. 5 Scaup (bergand) closest to the camera and three Tufted (toppand) at the back

Quite a few Wrens (gjerdesmett) today including singing birds. Surely they should be worrying more about their chances of surviving this cold spell than singing?
never a welcome sight: a mink at Maridalsvannet that was very interested in a pair of Whooper Swans (sangsvane). It submerged into the water and I was waiting for it to attack the swans but thankfully that didn't happen

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