Tuesday, 24 January 2017


Yesterday’s fog vanished overnight and we awoke to a crisp -7C, a continued thick frost that looks like snow on the ground and trees and no wind. Sounded like a good day for a trip into the forest. Despite it still being very early in the year I was hoping that woodpeckers may have started drumming as there have been reports from other places of drumming Three-toes. Woodpeckers did not really feature today but tits were very obvious deep into the forest indicating they are having no problems finding food and which would also explain why there are not that many birds using the feeding stations in Maridalen. Undoubted highlight was three female Capercaille which flew out of pine trees very close to each other and two Hazel Grouse which flew out of some alders. There were good amounts of droppings under these trees so these are clearly favoured feeding areas. The Capercailles eat pine needles which can easily be seen in their large droppings whilst the Hazel Grouse feed on the catkins of the alder trees.

Whilst up in the forest I heard a calling Goshawk distantly over Maridalen which may well have been displaying and when I later drove around Maridalen I had an adult male perched in a favoured tree. January is early to be displaying but with the weather being as it is I think a lot of birds think spring is just around the corner.

A trip down to Huk, Bygdøy revealed rather surprisingly that the fjord is starting to freeze over. Despite it not being super cold the lack of wind is obviously enough for the water to freeze. There were a few Common and Velvet Scoters close in shore and a Long-tailed Duck further out but still no auks to see.

The distinctive shape of a Goshawk (hønsehauk) 
This bird is the male of a local breeding pair and I have taken many photos of him over the years

Goldeneye (kvinand), Common Scoter (svartand) and Velvet Scoter (sjørre) offshore Huk, Bygdøy  
and three Velvet Scoters

The light was quite fantastic today which was "enhanced" by a layer of smog 

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