Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Black-throated Diver and dodgy duck

Yet another day that didn’t feel birdy but still had enough going on to keep it interesting. My first House Martin of the year was my only year tick but I did have my first Osprey for Maridalen, Willow Warblers, Three-toed pecker and an interesting female Tufted (type) Duck that may be a hybrid.

The real interest today though was what I didn’t see. First, a check on Facebook revealed a link on a Swedish site to a Finnish GPS tagged Pallid Harrier that was in Northern Denmark yesterday. Thinking that this bird’s next step may be Norway I opened the website and sure enough the last plot was to the south east of Nordre Øyeren! I shared this news and soon after a message came in that a Red Kite had just been observed trying to steal a fish from an Osprey at Årnestangen. Not surprisingly I spent a lot of time gaxing skywards after this but to no avail.

An evening dog walking trip around Sognsvann along with hundreds of walkers, joggers and dogs produced an extremely photogenic Black-throated Diver just metres from land that no body else seemed to notice!

Black-throated Diver (storlom). Only when looking through the pictures on the computer did I realise that I should have thought about the reflection

the red reflection is from the clothing of a jogger

here is Oslo Birder Jr in the background

and a couple of her pictures - she has a much better eye for getting the bird in habitat

showing how close the bird was to the shoreline. This is very atypical behaviour but the bird seemed fine

This duck really stood out from the other Tufted Ducks (toppand) but despite the large amount of white around the bill was clearly not a Scaup (bergand) due to it having a tuft and a broad, pale subterminal band on the bill. But is it just a wierd female Tufted or perhaps a hybrid? The pale feathers in the head suggest that it has a pigment problem which could also explain the extreme amount of white around the bill. The pale feathers could also perhaps be from a hybrid influence but what other species has a pale head?

here the head shape can suggest Ring-necked Duck (ringand) but I don't see anything else to suggest that and photos of the bird in flight (taken by Odd Rigenholt on FB) show normal Tufted Duck wingbars.

head profile changes

here it looks structurally like a normal Tufted which is most likely what it is

here the pale feathering can be see really well

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