Friday, 12 January 2018

Studying Beardies

Yesterday’s snow has left everything very nice and white. I had little belief in there being anything new to see but went to Fornebu determined to refind the Firecrest and see how it was coping with more snow than it has ever seen before. Three hours of searching though failed to find it and although it is good at disappearing it wouldn’t surprise me if conditions have become too harsh for it. I found the two Goldcrests and heard one of them for a long time before I saw them. At this stage I thought I had found the firey one so it was a bit disappointing when after 10 minutes of searching first one and then two Goldcrests revealed themselves.

Water Rails also seem to have found the conditions a bit too harsh. I have previously heard up to four birds but today all I had was fresh tracks in the snow from a single bird.

The Bearded Tits, or at least some of them, are still here but had chosen a new reedbed and there were only two males which were keeping each other close company. Normally when you see them they are in (mixed) pairs so it was surprising to see two males together. I got to see them very well as they fed mostly on the ground and also drank from a pool. They would disappear under the reeds and snow and at one stage they stood next to each on the ground under some reeds for about five minutes and preened each other and themselves (apparently called allopreening). When searching for food they were sometimes up eating reed seeds but also seemingly searching (and finding) insects. In this video you can see them preening each other and also one of the birds finding what looks like an insect inside a reed stem.

the 2 male Bearded Tits (skjeggmeis) just after having had a drink

their wings are amazingly short

it was difficult to see what food they were finding on the snow but I reckon it was both reed seeds and insects

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