Today was pretty wet and grey but with no wind. Maridalen had good numbers of thrushes and finches flying around but nothing to set the pulse racing.
I thought that Bygdøy might have something. I’ve always fancied the reedbed and wasteground at Hensenga for Stonechat or something rarer but it was pretty birdless today. The Oslo fjord was also very birdless but a Chiffchaff with a sweeo call got me a bit excited and needed to be seen to ensure that it wasn’t something else. I had intended that my birding would be restricted to these two sites but with so little to see time had flown and I then decided to defy the new ridiculously high road tolls that have been put up around Oslo (notionally in the name of the environment but really just a very regressive tax from a left wing council) and drive out to Fornebu.
I had been thinking yesterday that maybe there was a chance of Bearded Tits as I have seen other reports from further south that suggested the autumn movement of this species had begun but thought it was a bit too early in the autumn and had my mind more on Kingfisher or Jack Snipe. As I endeavoured to find these species I heard a “ping” from the reedbed. Beardies! There was in fact lots of pinging and a flock of at least 11 birds exploded out of the reedbed and partook in the high flying they are famous for before plunging back into the reeds where I managed some god views in the rain. These birds were in the small reedbed at Storøykilen which often seems to attract the first arriving birds before they relocate to the larger reedbed at Koksa where some attempt to overwinter most years. I thought about also checking out Koksa to see if there were any more birds but the rain put me off although I see that another observer had 4 in Koksa so there may have been at least 15 birds present at Fornebu although they could of course have moved around. Tomorrow is forecast to be sunny with little wind so should give a good opportunity to discover how many there are unless they use the nice weather as a chance to move on (they seem to have an untameable urge to move around).
There were many Blue Tits also in the reedbed which I think are probably migrants and also two Chiffchaffs. I also heard a Water Rail and put up a Jack Snipe and had a very unexpected Dipper so there was a nice birdy feeling.
I checked out Sørkedalen for the first time in ages. There have been a couple of reports of large numbers of geese using Bogstadvannet but it seems there is no one regularly visiting the valley anymore so there is probably lots going unnoticed. There were still a lot of geese today with 320 Greylag and 260 Barnacles but I couldn’t find anything more exciting other that four Greylag x Canada hybrids with their parents.
|male Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis)|
|three females and a male|
|2 males & 2 females|
|a female with a Blue Tit (blåmeis)|
|an underexposed flock of part of the flock when it went high flying|
|3 (of 4) Canada x Greylag hybrids|
|all four can be seen here with dad on the right. Mum (the Greylag) had her head down|