I had a plan to go searching for owls in the deep forests of Aurskog Høland and Nes but once I was on the road there was far too much snow in the air for that to be a good idea. So I thought I would check out what over wintering waterfowl I could find on the Glomma and Vorma rivers.
The most numerous species were Cormorant and Tufted Duck with over 120 birds of each and I recorded also Whooper and Mute Swans, Goosander, Goldeneye and Mallard but in no large concentrations and no rarer species of the type Smew or Scaup which I had hoped for. The last couple of days has seen small arrivals of geese and Lapwings along the southern coast of Norway and I had a vague hope of some geese on the river although with there being so much snow on the fields I thought the chance was very little. And indeed I found no geese but I did find 2 Lapwings which I had never expected because conditions here inland are completely unsuitable for this species and they will surely die unless they manage to fly a few hundred kilometres to the south very quickly. There are only two previous January records of Lapwing in Akershus both from 2006. One of these related to a dead bird and the other was at one of the locations where I had one today so two birds today was indeed exceptional.
I also had a magnificent adult White-tailed Eagle that twice put Cormorants and Goldeneyes into the air but never tried to catch anything whilst I watched. I had good views of Dippers which were also singing and a couple of Little Grebes on an ice-free river were an unusual inland record.
I had no owls or shrikes on my travels until I got back to Oslo when the Great Grey Shrike revealed itself in Maridalen and would therefore seem to be finding enough food despite over 50cm of new snow.
|Lapwing (vipe). The chances of this bird are surviving must be close to zero. Note how its belly feathers are hanging down and were frozen|
|same bird looking for food|
|and the second Lapwing which had chosen an even worse place to look for food|
|the white island in the middle of the river is where the Lapwing was|
|a flock of Tufted Duck (toppand)|
|Little Grebe (dvergdykker)|
|adult White-tailed Eagle (havørn). The bird is ringed but I cannot even work out what colour the ring is|
|Great Grey Shrike (varsler) in a wintery Maridalen|