It has been all rather grey and damp recently but the weather changed today and we are now going into a period of cold weather with more sun and less wind – i.e much better for birding and photography.
I started in Maridalen where the Marsh Tit was again present and a check of Willow Tit photos from the site (it is very popular with photographers) reveals that a Marsh Tit may have been here for a year (pictures of the species from last December and in April) so just shows how attentive I have been!
There were lots of tits in Maridalen and after racking up Marsh, Willow, Coal, Crested, Blue, Great and Long-tailed I thought that I should compete the set (with Siberian being off the cards again) and decided to visit Pollevannet where three Bearded Tits eventually made their presence known but were not very cooperative. I assume that this is the first time I have achieved 8 tit species in a day before and there cannot be many in Norway who have done the same.
After Pollevannet (where Marsh Tits are regular and just highlighting how odd it is that the species is so scarce in Oslo) I had a Kingfisher at the head of Bunnefjord (the first record here for the winter) so this area could offer some good birding as the winter draws on.
Østensjøvannet on the way home was still 95% frozen but on the open water were 2 female plumaged Smew which were noticeably different in size and plumage without me being able to ascertain if this has anything to do with age or sex.
Maridalsvannet is completely ice free but this hasn’t resulted in any influx of birds (a Smew would be nice here) although one Guillemot is still present and a Great Crested Grebe was a notable record.
|Marsh (løvmeis) and Willow Tit (granmeis) athough not necessarily in that order ;-)|
|here the rear cheek of the Willow Tit can be seen to be very white whereas on the Marsh Tit is is mucky|
|Willow Tit (granmeis)|
|Two female plumaged Smew (lappfiskand). The left hand bird was noticeably larger and had a large and whiter cheek|
|the top bird is the same as the right hand bird in the previous picture. The difference in the amount of white on the cheek can be easily seen|
|Kingfisher (isfugl). The seemingly all black bill indicates a male|
|these two Tufted Ducks (toppand) required a proper grilling as both were Scaup (bergand) lookalikes|