Saturday, 27 November 2010


The air temperature is -10C and with a biting northerly wind it feels much colder when you are out. Nothing much to report other than the comings and goings at the garden feeder. Highlight today was 3 Goldfinches briefly joining 12 Tree Sparrows. The Robin and a Blackbird are still around but there is no guarantee that they will hang around if the weather continues like this and especially once the snow comes.

Friday, 26 November 2010

It ain't over until the......

A norwegian tick yesterday was very welcome and proof that birding can always be interesting no matter the weather or time of the year.
A Grey Phalarope had been present for the last 3 days at Linnesstranda just 30 minutes from Oslo and I had the opportunity to pop down. When I first got there I was worried that the bird had left as there was a lot more ice than I expected however I soon found it at about 300m range amongst some Mallards. The bird was very active and was flying around a lot. At one stage it came a lot closer but by the time I had attached the camera to the 'scope then it had gone again this time flying a large loop of the area including over trees inland. I assume that the ice and cold was getting enough for the bird and reminding it that it should be a long way south in nutrient rich waters. It returned briefly to the water but then soon was flying away over the fjord until lost out of sight. 15 minutes after arriving it was gone - good timing by me for once.
Very little else to see although a calling Marsh Tit was only my 3rd record this year.

Monday, 22 November 2010

I was home again today with an ill 2 year old. Yet another opportunity to chart the comings and goings at the garden feeder. Significantly more birds today than on Friday with minimum of 10 each of House and Tree Sparrow and Greenfinch. Fewer Blue and Great Tits today though but the Robin is still around. Highlight though was 2 male Redpolls which hung around for a while. One was at the whiter end of the spectrum and invited thought of an Artic Redpoll briefly.
The forecast is for temperatures down to -15C by the end of this week so maybe this will result in an even further increase in bird numbers.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Garden birding

A day working from home allowed me to observe the comings and goings in the garden and I was surprised by the numbers of birds. Best were 2 male Bullfinches feeding on seedheads, 2 Fieldfares feeding on fallen apples, a male Blackbird and a Robin finding food under the feeders and on the feeders a couple of Greenfinches, at least 10 Great Tits, 4 Blue Tits, 6 Tree Sparrows and around 10 House Sparrows. The Great Tits are looking to be very healthy with shiny plumage and seeming good body weight - in previous years they have looked very taty so presumeably this summer and autumn has been good for them.

Maridalen in the cold

It is under -5 ceclcius at the moment and forecast to go below -10 next week but without any significant snow. I drove around Maridalen this morning hoping for something exciting (maybe Pine Grosbeak - I am ever hopefull). The lake now has ice round the edges but less than I expected probably as a result of fresh winds keeping the water moving.
3 Cormorants and a Goldeneye were to be expected but a Great Crested Grebe was definitely not. This is only my second record on the lake and a november record is unusual anywhere around Oslo. 4 Whooper Swans flew over heading south and in fields I had 60 Yellowhammer and 40 Tree Sparrows still managing to find some food.
I also had these3 Roe Deer:

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Winter is still coming

It is below freezing all the time at the moment and snow is forecast for tonight. A quick drive around Maridalen today revealed 3 adult Whooper Swans and a Goldeneye on the lake, a male Goshawk over and a few Bullfinches and Yellowhammers.
There was a frost covering the fields, the edges of the lake are starting to freeze and the there was mist over the lake - very atmospheric.

This isn't at Maridalen, but something I saw in London at St. James Park on Tuesday, can I tick it?