I was so desperate for something new and exciting that I visited just about every birding locality in Oslo except for Bygdøy yesterday. I even paid a very fleeting visit to the rubbish dump for gulls (always a sign of desperation for me). What I should have done though was stay loyal to Maridalen where a keen pair of eyes spotted an overflying Long-eared Owl which then fought with a Sparrowhawk. This is a late record of a species that isn't even on my Oslo list and just goes to prove that birding can always produce surprises.
My two visits into Maridalen produced nothing more exciting than a Nutcracker. The dump held only Herring Gulls and Østensjøvannet had just the regular female Pintail alongside a couple of hundred Mallards and 8Coot.
Fornebu did give very good views of 6 Bearded Tits and a couple of calling Water Rails but that is to be expected at the moment.
Perhaps the best birding of the day was at Frognerpark. Here an amazing 9 Herons were roosting in a tree at head height very close to a path. This species only started being seen regularly in the park a couple of winters ago so to see 9 birds that have clearly got used to humans was quite a sight. 12 Teal is also a good count for a species that has also only recently started to spend the winter here and the (ringed) male Wigeon that arrived as a young bird last winter has also returned in full adult plumage. A Moorhen was unexpected as were a pair of Mute Swans (again a species that you wouldn't see here two years ago but which now breeds).
It is snowing today but tomorrow it will all turn to rain...
|one of 9 Grey Herons in Frognerpark. With a bit of time one cold get amazing pictures here although there were rather a lot of branches in the way|
|a late Moorhen (sivhøne) which may well try to spend the winter|
|6 of the 12 Teal including the only 2 males|
|adult male Wigeon (brunnakke)|
|and the obligatory Bearded Tit shots|
|the male pictured above was one of a pair in Holtekilen that showed well whereas this female was one of two pairs in Storøykilen that spent most of their time silently feeding on the floor of the reedbed|