Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Getting cold

Yesterday, saw me failing at twitching again. I had intended to go to Kurefjorden to look for a (Long-billed) Dowitcher found last week but it was last seen on Saturday morning so I had missed the boat for this Norwegian tick. A couple of good local birds were reported on Sunday evening though on an obscure private website that deserved some attention although I don’t know how reliable the reports are. One was a Firecrest at Østensjøvannet (despite them breeding this year this is still only the 3rd record of the species in Oslo) and the other a Hoopoe (a species never previously seen in Oslo). Of course, I failed to find them but that is to be expected when I twitch.

Birding wise it was all quite quiet and some Common Darters sunning themselves in Maridalen (after a heavy overnight frost – down to -5C) were perhaps the highlight with the dragonfly season now coming to an end.

Today it was wet and cold (not rising above +2C) but surprisingly comfortable to be outside. I walked out to Årnestangen without getting much of a reward although the 4 Ringed Plover and single Dunlin will probably be my last of the year. There were surpsisingly small numbers of waterfowl although a bit of variety with Shoveler, Gadwall, Pochard and Long-tailed Duck.

In Maridalen there are large numbers of Redwings and Fieldfares feeding on an abundance of rowan berries. This year has seen extremely bountiful crops on pretty much all berry/fruit/seed/nut trees which is being explained as a reaction to last years hot and dry summer. The abundance of food has meant that the thrushes are only now starting to move out of the forests and have yet to move into town to feast on the enormous quantities of apples in gardens. One good thing with there being such an abundance of fruit and berries is that the thrushes will hopefully not strip all trees bare meaning there is still food left for later arriving visitors such as Waxwing and hopefully Pine Grosbeak.

a cold and misty Østensjøvannet

lots of Coots (sothøne)
including the leucistic bird which seems to be getting even whiter

I had a few Chiffchaffs (gransanger) which all have an eastern look and call (sweeo) without being quite tristis candidates

Common Darter / senhøstlibelle / Sympetrum striolatum This individual looks to be of ssp striolatum as the black "moustache" does not extend down the face
this one has a moustache that goes down at the sides making it ssp nigrescens if I have undertood things correctly. This is also a character of Vagrant Darter /sørhøstlibelle but the black thighs on the forelegs should confirm it as a Common Darter
for comparison here is a Vagrant Darter from Fornebu 1 Oct. It is very similar but note that the thighs of the forelegs have a pale stripe on the back. Note also that the leg stripes are red coloured whereas they are yellower and darker on Common Darter. The end of the tail is also fatter in Vagrant

and here is a tricky one also from Fornebu 1 Oct. It seems to lack the hanging moustache so I had it nailed as a Common Darter. However the red colour to the leg stripes strongly suggests it is Vagrant Darter. Unfortunately we cannot see the back of the thighs on the forelegs

mating Common Darters

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