The last two days have been rather dire on the bird front due to fog. Yesterday I tried the Askim dump again and had an increase in gulls compared to Monday with about 110 Herring present but nothing more interesting and again no activity in the dump (I had visited on a Wednesday before and there was loads of activity so don’t understand the rubbish collecting schedules in this part of the world…). The very much larger numbers of gulls that were present when the scarcer gulls were found 2 weeks ago could be a result of the southerly storms at that time which had pushed a lot of gulls into the Oslo fjord and then away from the sea to look for food?
Today I went to Fornebu in fog (although visibility was ca.100m) and, I kid you not, the only birds I SAW were 3 Hooded Crows! I did HEAR another 5 species but no doubting how dire things were. One of the birds I heard was a Water Rail which is the first reported here for a long time and presumably a bird that has relocated here from somewhere else which is now frozen. I had feared that the continued human encroachment at Fornebu along with more cats and dogs had spelt an end for Water Rails here but hopefully I am wrong and they will continue to be a regular (and breeding) bird. I also heard at least one Bearded Tit which I think was quite close to where I was standing but 30 minutes of waiting didn’t result in seeing it or hearing it again and the reedbed was otherwise nearly devoid of birds in stark contrast to last week.
In the lack of any photos from yours truly I will share a fantastic video of a Hawk Owl that has been “trained” to take dead mice from the hand. The action starts at around 40 seconds.