Thursday, 8 November 2018

Med Gull brightens up a very gloomy day

It is all very grey at gloomy at the moment and with rain forecast the coming days we will be entering the absolute worst time of the year before hopefully snow comes and brightens things up.
In Maridalen tits are starting to congregate at the feeders and there were still flocks of Fieldfares, Yellowhammers, Greenfinches and Tree Sparrows on the fields with a single, late, Redwing amongst them. On the lake two Guillemots are still finding enough food and will probably be here until the lake freezes over.

I visited Østensjøvannet again and this time saw a Long-tailed Duck in addition to the Smew and Little Grebe. The duck is presumably the one I failed to see on Monday (or yesterday) and just goes to show it was bad fieldcraft from me that was the reason for not seeing it. It was a particularly dark individual which I think is due to it still being in juvenile rather than 1st winter plumage. At one stage a male Goldeneye started displaying to it which really scared her causing her to run over the water. It looked like she couldn’t fly but I did see her taking a short flight later and she looked healthy enough.

When I drove out to Østensjøvannet I saw that there was a flock of gulls feeding in the park where the Med Gull had been seen occasionally earlier in October and I stopped here on the way back and did indeed find the 2cy Med Gull together with 9 Common and 2 Herring Gulls. This is the first observation since 26 October when I saw it on the fjord so it clearly has another site that it frequents but it does appear that it will now spend the winter and is then most likely to end up with the vast majority of the city’s Common Gulls which end up eating bread in a small park in the city (providing the locals old ladies are still going strong and feeding them).

The 2nd winter Med Gull (svartehavsmåke) is looking a bit smarter now I think

the juvenile Pink-footed Goose (kortnebbgås) at Østensjøvannet seems to be finding enough food and is unfazed by people
Long-tailed Duck (havelle) with a male Goldeneye (kvinand)

This Tufted Duck (toppand) at Østensjøvannet has unsurprisingly been misidentified as a Scaup (bergand) on a few occasions and with a round head and quite a bit of white around the bill does superficially resemble Scaup but these types of birds are frequent enough that they shouldn't cause confusion with good enough views. The bill pattern with a large black nail with a pale band behind are classic for Tufted Duck and the best feature but the bird was also small and had the jizz of a Tufted plus it lacks the pale patch on cheek of a Scaup and a Scaup would have a paler head.

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