Friday, 27 October 2017

Hairy appendages

Nice and sunny with no fog today so I thought I'd try for the hairy titties again.

I found them and at times had them close, sometimes also with sun light on them and also close enough to use the flash but am I happy with any of the pics? Don't think so.

Behaviour wise though it was fascinating to watch them. I first found a pair (or a at least a male and female that were keeping each other company) and these two were quite noisy and flew around the reedbed. Sometimes also landing in birch trees and engaging in high flying but always plummeting back into the reedbed. On one of these high flyings they suddenly had the company of a third bird and after plunging down they carried on calling and allowed me to find them - a male had joined them. Whilst watching these three I could hear another bird in the reeds and eventually a female joined them. All four birds were very active and started go up a tree (never seen that before!) until they were all at the top and then they launched themselves into the sky. After a couple of rounds they headed towards Storøykilen. 

I checked out Nansenpark where a single Meadow Pipit didn't quite meet up to my expectations of a rare wheatear or shrike.

In Storøykilen everything was very quiet until after a long while I heard a ping. The Beardies were here but they were hardly calling, feeding low down out of sight and not interested in playback. I eventually confirmed 4 birds so they were presumably the ones from Koksa but their behaviour was so different. Now they were settled and focused on feeding rather than seemingly being more interested in finding a new location and other Beardies which their behaviour in Koksa suggested was top of their minds earlier. If they are now settled for the winter then they will become increasingly difficult to find them but it is still early in the season and more birds may turn up and be lively for at least the first few days post arrival.

Otherwise the Jack Snipe was still present and four Water Rails were calling. One of them clearly got frightened by something in the reedbed because it flew up squealing and perched in the reeds before again flying up in a noisy panic and flying 15 m over the reeds before tumbling down. There was also a late(ish) Reed Bunting which showed really well but why wasn’t it a rarer bunting?

Stopping to do grocery shopping on the way home gave me my first Waxwings of the autumn and reminded me how much I like hearing their call. Let’s hope there will be lots this winter.

male Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis) taken with superzoom using flash

a female feeding on the ground 

always something between me and the bird

and again a reed is in the way

never seen Beardies in a tree before

the four leave Koksa  in the direction of Storøykilen
the light was great in Storøykilen but the birds were far less cooperative

although I did get a couple of close up opportunities

and the Reed Bunting (sivspurv)

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