Thursday, 26 October 2017

Changeable seasons

Talk about contrasts. After Tuesday’s cold, wet autumnal weather yesterday ended up of the warm and sunny autumnal sort although snow could be seen on the hills north of Maridalen and further north there have been large amounts of snow.

Jules and I went walking in the forests of Lillomarka hoping for some nice taiga species such as Pine Grosbeak or Three-toed Pecker. We had to settle for Parrot Crossbill and Great Spotted Pecker but the walk was nice.

A lot of birds have cleared out now but in Maridalen there were still three Meadow Pipits.

Today started with no wind and fog but after lunch the fog lifted and it was blue skies again. I spent the foggy period at Fornebu which I had all to myself – no birders, no dog walkers, no joggers just me and a few birds. The Bearded Tits showed very well in the fog and there were 3 males and 2 females. I have always wondered whether the birds are already paired up during the autumn and winter but today’s observations suggested not. At one stage four of the birds flew to another part of the reedbed leaving a single male who started calling nervously. I believe he had been down on the ground when the other four flew and just missed the boat but this led me to believe that the other four birds were two pairs. However, when I later encountered the birds then I saw three males and a female together with another bird calling from about 50 metres away. This then led me to believe that the birds weren’t paired as why would the other female not have been with her mate?

Other birds I had at Fornebu were three calling Water Rails, a Jack Snipe and 4 Common Snipe. Robins also were very noticeable and were I expect migrant birds on their way out of the county but I had no warblers or pipits and just a handful of thrushes.

It was foggy at Fornebu today

but Bearded Tits (skjeggmeis) brighten things up

nice footwork from this female

all five of today's birds - 3 males and 2 females

snow above Maridalen yesrerday

female Parrot Crossbill (furukorsnebb) 
male and female Parrot

male Common Crossbill (grankorsnebb) in Maridalen today. This bird was singing. Note the smaller bill than on the Parrots

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