Thursday 16 November 2023

Hazel Grouse

It is getting very quiet now. Temperatures are sticking below zero although we have not had any new snow. It seems that all migrants have now moved through and I am not noticing any new arrivals now although experience tells us that there could still be some major surprises in store.

Yesterday I went searching for some noise and my Hazel Grouse provided me with the entertainment I was looking for. I was able to sit just 5 metres from him and the only sign he made to acknowledge my presence was to turn his back to me. This seems the wrong behaviour when in the presence of a potential predator but maybe after three years of visiting him he doesn’t see me as a predator.

At one stage he even walked towards me and then hopped up onto a branch. I believed I had filmed all this with my mobile phone but in typical style I only managed to film the inside of my pocket as I turned it on when I thought I was turning it off. I could blame cold fingers but this happens far too often that I can blame anything other than my own inattentiveness.

male Haze Grouse (jerpe) using the inbuilt flash

and no flash

notice the pile of droppings suggesting it had been in that spot for quite a while before I found it

this shot taken with the thermal imager hardly reveals any heat from the bird despite the air temperature being -4C and the ground being frozen, The tiny bright white spot is from the face

the reason it gives off no heat is that it has such thick feathering. It frequently blew out the feathers on its back which may have been to trap air inside and increase the insulation

a close up using the flash

I managed to read the ring on the male Wigeon (brunnakke) at Østensjøvannet and he is an old friend who was first ringed at Frognerparken as a 1cy M. He has been seen at various places since then including the summer and clearly thinks he is a Mallard. He is often seen seemingly paired to a female Mallard and may well be the farther of the hybrid seen at Østensjøvannet a few years ago. Only once has he been seen away from Oslo and that 3.2.21 when he was seen in Denmark 320km away

a walk around the waterfront in Oslo yesterday afternoon armed only with my mobile phone revealed a very late adult Lesser Black-backed Gull (sildemåke) by the Opera

and also a Shag (toppskarv) which has been hanging around here for a while

No comments:

Post a Comment