Yesterday we had a lot of snow and -6C and everything turned white and very wintery. Today we had rain and +7C which made everything very icy and slippery. There was also a lot of wind today which I had not noticed on the weather forecast. It was only when I walked outside that I realised how strong it was and it was coming right from the south – ie good for sea gazing.
I chose not to go down to Krokstrand but instead went to Fornebu where I was able to find a viewing spot out of the wind. Initially there was not really anything to see but after 45 minutes a flock of 8 Long-tailed Ducks including 5 adult males flew past. Then a few auks went past and Common and Velvet Scoters. There were very few gulls, but I grilled everyone and a nice adult Little Gull went past and then a Puffin! Not bad at all J
At noon after an hour and 45 minutes my teeth were chattering so much that I had to retreat to the car and turn the heating on max. I drove to another site where I could view from the car and had two Kittiwakes going past. The wind was if anything blowing stronger now so there was a chance that new birds would turn up but I was so cold to the core that I had to throw in the towel. This time of the year is good for a Leaches Petrel to turn up and that was my hope for the day once I realised how strong the wind was but I’ll have to keep waiting to see that species in Norway.
Yesterday in the snow I visited the Botanical Gardens in Norway. Despite there still being a lot of berries on some of the trees there were few birds (no Waxwings for example and only 1 Hawfinch) but there were 4 Nutcrackers feeding on cones from the same Weymouth Pine which also hosted three Common Crossbills. It was very interesting to see how one single tree could be so important but remined me of how the single larch right next to this pine has in previous winters held numbers of Two-barred Crossbill, Goldfinch, Siskin and various tits which seemed to spend their whole day just feeding on the cones of this one single tree.
In Maridalen I noted some interesting behaviour from two Great Spotted Woodpeckers in response to playing the song of Pygmy Owl which can be seen in one of the videos.
|Nutcracker (nøttekråke) extracting the seeds from a Weymouth Pine cone|
|8 Long-tailed Ducks (havelle) an unsual sight off Fornebu|
|and even more unusual that there were 5 adult males - normally it is young birds we see|