Another day of very cold temperatures (-14C at breakfast) and with a biting wind making it feel even colder. The cold got the better of me a couple of times and I had to retreat to the car to warm up. I started the day hoping to see the White-backed Woodpecker again but despite some good old hard work I failed to see it although a Great Spotted Woodpecker first picked up tapping away got me going briefly.
I took the rather scary Oslo Fjord Tunnel (although a major road it is frequently closed due to accidents and a favourite type is the brakes of HGVs over heating due to the 3km long, steep ascent and catching fire….) and then checked out the Drøbak area. A Little Grebe showed really well and caught and devoured a fish that I would imagine would count as breakfast, lunch and dinner. A small flock of Velvet Scoters fed unusually close to shore (usually this species is always a long way out) and had clearly found some sea urchins or crabs as they kept diving in unison over the same spot. I grilled them but had to accept that all of them were “just”. 11 were adult males (or at least 3cy+) and 3 were in female like plumage. Closer inspection showed that at least one of these was a young (2cy) male and the other 2 may also have been. I have noticed many times before how winter flocks of Velvet Scoter contain a real overweight of adult males which contrasts with the smaller numbers of overwintering Common Scoters which seem to always be young birds (sex undetermined). A group of around 50 Common Eiders were cooing away in the sunshine but also failed to reveal any rarer cousins in their midst.
I had a drive by Great Grey Shrike on the way home and a drive through Maridalen did not reveal a single bird (or at least that I can remember) …
|Little Grebe (dvergdykker) - the sunshine now makes photography easier|
|although it was in the shade when it took the (relatively) large fish|
|clockwise from top left in the act of positioning and then swallowing the fish|
|can't ever remember seeing the foot of a Little Grebe before|
|always nice with a Waxwing (sidensvans)|
|I only had a Great Spotted Woodpecker (today) and with Sunday's White-backed for comparison|
|14 Velvet Scoters (sjøorre) and 4 Eiders (ærfugl)|
|The Velvets. Note there are 11 adult (or 3cy+) males and 3 in female/immature plumage (one with head down)|
|here the bill colouration of the immatuure/female bird shows its to be a 2cy male|