Thursday, 15 December 2016

Whooper Swans

The overnight frost was so thick that it looked like it had snowed but that wasn’t the case and unfortunately there is snow forecast for at least the next week and temperatures are also forecast to go back over zero nest week so we are not yet in the grips of winter.

I had Christmas related chores on my agenda today but did of course manage a trip into Maridalen. Here the only open water was a tiny area where one of the streams flows in and surprisingly there were 10 Whooper Swans here. (these were the only water birds left) They were 3 adults and 7 juvs and it was tempting to think that the local family had popped up again. They were all resting on the ice and it wasn’t possible to determine that family mix but what is most likely is that there was a family group of 8 plus the single adult and youngster I saw on Tuesday and which were seen by another observer yesterday. This was as good as confirmed when I later saw a group of 8 swans flying south from the Storo shopping centre. I went back up to Maridalen to see if any swans were left (was hoping to see the single adult and youngster) but there were none left at all. So presumably they had all moved on but kept in their family parties which is why I only saw a group of 8 but the family of 2 probably also flew south a few minutes before or after.

The Great Grey Shrike was still in the valley and a distant Sparrowhawk perched on a tree top had me momentarily thinking I was going to get a shot of Hawkie….
Whooper Swans (sangsvane) 3 adults and 6 youngsters

and with the 7th youngster

Great Grey Shrike (varsler) with an angry Bullfinch (dompap) giving it some grief

the distant Sparrowhawk which had me thinking Hawkie

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