Thursday, 9 March 2017

A birding first

Winter really won’t let go this year. A lot of wet snow fell last night and any birds like Skylarks or Lapwings that have returned will be having big problems now although I expect the majority are wise enough to have headed south again.

I thought that the snow would make a trip to Fornebu worthwhile. It is nearly six weeks since Bearded Tits were reported there but I reckoned there was still a chance they were there and with heavy wet snow there was a higher chance that they would be feeding at the tops of the reeds. I didn’t have to wait very long until I heard a bird and it was relatively close but very frustratingly I never saw it more likely them. What was very exciting though was that in addition to the usual “ping” call I heard song. I have never heard the song before and it is a very brief affair which sounds a bit like a Magpie but the sound matches written descriptions and was the same as this recording:

Bearded Tits can start egg laying in early April so there is a chance that there will actually be breeding here which would be a first if confirmed although May records from 2005 and 2001 are a strong indication of breeding.
A walk around Nansenpark didn’t reveal a single migrant bird (so no Twite, Skylarks or Snow Buntings).
At Bygdøy the Greylag Geese continue to increase and I counted 99. Finding food was a struggle and each bird had dug its own hole in the snow and was eating brown grass – yummy! 

PS. I forgot to mention that I saw my first Shelduck lgying forlornly over a frozen bay at Fornebu but that now means that all eight of the early spring migrants have fallen.

The goose field at the Kings Farm on Bygdøy

yummy yummy!

some of the birds (I assume males) were a bit cranky 

somewhere in there was a singing Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis) - a birding first for me

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