Monday, 10 December 2018

December Chaffchiffs

This weekend included a dog socializing trip to Fornebu where the alfa male got to check out the bird life in Storøykilen. With all the snow and ice in the salt water bay it was very surprising to find that two Chiffchaffs were still there and judging by their movements they seemed to be strong and healthy. Both were mostly in the reedbed and were feeding separately although did come together at one stage. They were not calling often at all but the only calls I did hear were “normal” and their olive plumage also suggested that they were NOT tristis.

They clearly have found enough food up until now and a flock of Long-tailed Tits and a couple of Goldcrests were also proof that insect eaters can find food through the cold Oslo winter but there has to be a reason that Chiffchaffs rarely if ever manage to survive a whole winter in Norway. Maybe the insects that are to be found are the wrong type for a Chiffchaff or perhaps more likely their bodies have just not evolved to deal with the food and short days?

A 2nd winter Glaucous Gull was found at the dump in Oslo yesterday but by the time I got there it had moved on and I also failed to find it today although momentarily thought I had struck lucky when I found the leucistic Herring Gull that has been around in Oslo many years.

the Chiffchaffs (gransanger) were mostly feeding low down in the reedbed

this Long-tailed Tit (stjertmeis) proved their is insect food to be found

a frozen Storøykilen

this Red-throated Diver is a late bird

the beast

Leucistic Herring Gull (gråmåke) J000A. He was ringed 07.01.16 but had been seen around Oslo for a number of years and been nicknamed Leif. Since he was ringed he has been found to be a local breeding bird and has also spent his winters in Oslo except for last winter when he was in Denmark from December until 9 March. Pictures here from 07.01.16 show that he had some black primaries which he no longer has and is an interesting development

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