Thursday, 14 March 2019

A Watery Day

It was cold again over night (-9C) and with no wind there was fog this morning. A visit to Årnestangen was probably never going to be a good idea and I turned around very early when I realised I wasn’t going to see a thing.

I therefore headed for Østensjøvannet where I wanted to see if the Water Rail was still present. Despite not having been reported for a whole month it was indeed still there. What was really exciting though was to see a Water Shrew (vannspissmus). This species is believed to be found throughout Norway but is rarely reported and then usually dead so see one alive was a real treat and was my first encounter with the species. It was feeding very actively on both land and in water and we also saw it diving under water. My pictures are a bit grainy due to the poor light and I am kicking myself for not having taken the tripod which would have allowed me to film it. 

Water Rail (vannrikse) 
today it was never out in the open and there were always twigs in the way. It was feeding actively by searching under leaves that were lying in the water

Water Shrew (vannspissmus). The black upperparts and white underparts are diagnostic. It is also very large for a shrew

it was very actively looking for food

it parcticularly liked this moss covered og

heading into the water 

here swimming and shortly after this it dived possibly as a result of hearing me

Yellowhammers (gulspurv) have started singing

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