Monday, 12 December 2016

Some change in Maridalen

Temperatures were back to around zero today but with (I believe) a lot of moisture in the air it felt bitterly cold. The ice on Maridalsvannet has, as predicted, melted but this is probably as much to do with wind we had over the weekend as it has to do with the warmer temperatures. Birds are clearly still moving away from sites further inland as there were 8 Whooper Swans resting on the water when I arrived which eventually headed off to the south and a Common Scoter was new in. The scoter was together with the long staying Scaup and Tufted Duck and a couple of Goldeneyes. Four species of duck on Maridalsvannet in December is probably a record as 1.) the lake is normally frozen and 2.) even if there is no ice there is usually nothing more than Goldeneye left so late in the year.

The Shrike was perched on wires looking for rodents but was moving quickly around and clearly has no preferred and target rich site but rather seeks to cover as much ground as possible in its search for food. Passerines are generally very scarce in Maridalen at the moment away from the feeding stations and finches are scarce with only a few (but increasing numbers of) Bullfinches.
Scaup (bergand), Tufted Duck (toppand), Common Scoter (svartand) and Goldeneye (kvinand) - representing an unusually varied number of ducks for Maridalsvannet in December

Up to 7 Cormorants (storskarv) are also finding food here every day. From what I have observed it looks like they roost on the fjord and fly to and from the lake every day

Great Grey Shrike (varsler) still hanging on

6 of the 8 Whooper Swans deciding it's time to keep on heading south

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