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 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|