Monday, 11 December 2017

I'm on Fire

As usual my weekend was not spent birding but it looks like a number of people were out at Fornebu looking the Firecrest but there were no reports of it after Thursday afternoon. This was just the sort of motivation I needed to visit Fornebu today J It took quite a bit of work but eventually I found him about 400m away from where he was on Wednesday and Thursday. He was all alone and feeding mostly on the floor. There were a couple of Goldcrests not too far away and these were feeding 3-4 metres up in bushes and calling quite a lot whereas their cousin made very little noise. He was quite confiding but there were far too many twigs in the way to get any decent pictures and I had to use manual focus all the time.

Bearded Tits were calling in two of the reedbeds and there were four calling Water Rails in total one of which showed itself on two occasions. A calling Chiffchaff from a reedbed was quite a surprise but if a Firecrest can survive then a Chiffchaff should also manage to.

Back at home there was a mini influx of House Sparrows into the garden after they had been mostly absent for a few weeks. One bird caught my attention and after a bit of study I have concluded that it is a female hybrid between House and Tree Sparrow. I have seen a fair few pictures of this hybrid combo before, but these are always of assumed males whereas this bird was clearly a female due to a yellow bill base and pale supercilium (features of female House Sparrow) and a quick google search has yet to reveal any other photos of females. It was quite a subtle bird which mostly resembled a female House Sparrow but had a prominent white collar, a black smudge on a white chin, a small grey bib and a crown that was a mixture of grey and brown.

spot the bird

was again feeding on the ground

I did manage one OK picture - Firecrest (rødtoppfuglekonge)

a male Green Woodpecker (grønnspett) that has been at Fornebu for a while now

when I first saw this bird I thought it was a strange female House Sparrow (gråspurv) with a prominent neck collar

but the grey bib and dark cheek smudge plus reddy brown colours in the crown reveal the Tree Sparrow (pilfink) genes 

female hybird House Sparrow x Tree Sparrow

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