Saturday, 19 January 2019

Water Rail and Wren

a wintery Water Rail (vannrikse)
Yesterday I had to adjust my expectations to the realities of mid winter Oslo birding but never-the-less had a good day. It was fantastic weather with blue skies, no wind and temperatures down to -10C. I started at Huk, Bygdøy where 15 Wood Pigeons are still over wintering but seem to be dependent on food that is put out. Four Purple Sandpipers were on the offshore rocks and the wintering Oystercatcher was on the beach. Offshore there was a a scattering of Razorbills, Guillemots and Velvet Scoters alongside Eiders, Goldeneye ad Red-breasted Mergansers.

I popped into Østensjøvannet and had great views of the Water Rail which is still surviving despite the area of open water getting smaller and smaller. It enjoys the porridge oats that are occasionally put out for it and this might be the decisive factor if it survives the winter especially with even lower temperatures forecast in the coming week. A Wren was also present and was feeding in the water in exactly the same manner as the Water Rail and looked very much like a miniature version of the rail.

On Thursday afternoon the Water Pipit was reported again (after I had left) but photos showed the bird observed was a Meadow Pipit. The same observer then reported Water Pipit again on Friday but this time the photos showed a Redwing….. So, I was feeling confident that the bird had departed but today the Water Pipit was seen and photographed again so just goes to prove that I am a really bad twitcher.

it is not always easy to get a good angle on the bird..

eating porridge oats. look how big the toes are

I tried to get shots with the reflection but was not entirely happy with the results

Water Rails look to be incredibly front heavy and it's a surprise they don't just fall over head first

the Wren (gjerdesmett) that seemed to be copying the Water Rail

this is the first time I have seen a Wren feeding in water

this Robin (rødstrupe) was also feeding in the same spot

the Purple Sandpipers (fjæreplytt) at Huk. Upto 7 birds have been seen here recently. I only found these 4 and don't know whether the other 3 were out of view or if they visit from an other placee

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