Saturday 24 February 2024


The last few days (and nights) have seen temperatures just above zero and combined with rain this has resulted in quite a thaw starting. Rivers and streams are suddenly running again and there is flood water forming above the snow many places. There is even the odd patch of bare ground to be seen and with the forecast for the next week to be much of the same we can expect the first migrants to start turning up. Today the first Skylarks, Snow Buntings and Ringed Plovers were recorded although the lark was the only one I was lucky enough to jam in on.

My birding day was very succesful though as I joined a twitch at Østensjøvannet to admire a male Smew (aka the White Nun) at very close range. A male Smew has been seen on and off around the islands off of Oslo this winter and yesterday I was able to see it in the scope from Huk. I had hoped that it would turn up at Østensjøvannet as the spring progressed as this species often turns up there in March. They are always redheads though so an adult male would be something else.

I was definitely not expecting it to turn up this early though. There is only a tiny area of ice free water at the moment which holds a 100 or so bread eating Mallards, 4 Goldeneye, 3 Mute Swans, 1 Coot and the Smew. Views were unsurprisingly good!

I have a lot of photos and video to go through and expect I will have even more if it hangs around a few days so will just post 3 pictures for now.

spot the Smew (lappfiskand)

The White Nun

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