Yesterday I found myself trailing behind Jr and Jr Jr whilst they hunted Pokémons in Frognerparken. This suited Sr just fine as the small lakes here can house a few birds in the winter months. Yesterday there were no less than five species of duck with 100+ Mallard being accompanied by a young male Wigeon, 4 female Tufted Ducks, 3 male Goldeneyes and a staggering 13 Teal! This would appear to be a record count for the site and consisted of 11 females and two males. Both males were already acting as though they were paired off and whilst one male was a fine adult the other was a bird of the year and in not quite so pristine plumage. The lakes are also regularly used by gulls coming in for a bathe plus a few lingering birds looking for bread thrown to the ducks. Previously the lake has held Med Gull, Iceland Gull and Ring-billed Gull although in recent winters its mostly Herring Gulls one finds here. The overwintering populations of the two small gulls (Black-headed and Common) has declined dramatically in the last 5-10 years in Oslo and the 5 adult Black-headed Gulls that I had bathing on the lake may represent the entire winter population in Oslo. 4 Common Gulls are also a high proportion of that species population. Quite why these species have declined is hard to say and although both are also suffering declining breeding populations I think there must be something specific about the winter conditions that it affecting the wintering populations.
I only had the superzoom with me and in low light overcast mid winter conditions the resulting pictures suffer a lot but I will force them upon you anyway...
|fine adult male Goldeneye (kvinand) in Frognerparken|
|absolutely pants picture but on the left are 5 adult Black-headed Gulls (hettemåke) which might be the entire Oslo wintering popualation|
|Jr and Jr Jr daring to feed a Mallard. It is safe to say that an interest in birds is not genetic|
|One of four female Tufteds (toppand). Interesting that the three Goldeneye were all males and the Tufteds all females|
|A 1st winter male Wigeon with an unreadable metal ring|
|all 13 of the parks Teal (krikkand)|
|The 1st winter male|
|here with his mate - note how he has developed the white horizontal bar on the right side of his body but not yet on the left|
|a line of juvenile feathers waiting to fall off. Not entirely sure which feather tract they are (lower scapulars?)|
|the adult male with his mate|
|the two males hanging out together|