Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Misty birding

Today I was out with Anders and we headed up to Mjøsa and then followed the Vorma and Glomma Rivers hoping for interesting water birds that had been pushed out from frozen lakes further inland. It was fantastic weather with temperatures down to -10C, blue skies, really thick frost on trees and the ground and no wind. The lack of wind proved a problem with mist swirling over both Mjøsa and on the rivers making viewing very difficult in places and we must have missed a lot of birds.

The only real sign of birds on the move was an enormous flock of 530 Canada Geese on the Glomma River at Årnes. This is a very late record for such a large flock and is actually the second largest flock recorded in the whole of Norway in 2018. The largest flock of 550 birds was in Hedmark a month or so ago and this is undoubtedly the same flock that is now finally and slowly making its way south. A single Greylag was the only other goose in their midst unfortunately and Whooper and Mute Swans were only present in small numbers.
There were far fewer ducks than I was expecting with around 100 Tufted, not many more Mallards, a few Goldeneye, 2 Common Scoter, only a single Goosander and best of all a male Long-tailed Duck all we had. We had no divers and just 3 Slavonian Grebes.

Raptors were confined to a single Rough-legged Buzzard which is a very rare winter bird in these parts and a surprising find given the complete absence of other raptors and Great Grey Shrikes during the day suggesting there are no rodents in these areas.

We took a drive through the forests of Nes and I had a very strong feeling we were going to find a Great Grey Owl but that feeling was just plain wrong and a single Pygmy Owl was about the only bird we saw in 30 or so kilometres!

The Gloma River at Årnes with ice forming, thick frost on the trees and fields and loads of Canada Geese

some of the Canada Geese with Whooper Swans and Mallards

the male Long-tailed Duck (havelle) when the mist lifted a bit

Today's Pygmy Owl

Tufted Ducks (toppand) on the Vorma Rivers at Eidsvoll

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