Friday, 17 November 2017

London buses

You wait a year and then two arrive. On Thursday I discovered there are two Pygmy Owls in Maridalen and they have adjoining winter territories which bodes well for further sightings and perhaps a chance of breeding next year? Saying that though I am unsure of the sex of the birds. One has called but not sang a few times which I take to be a sign it is a female whilst the other bird gave the species autumn song a couple of times which I assumed would mean it is a male but upon reading up I see that both sexes apparently give the autumn song. At one point after I had used playback both birds were in the same tree and the presumed female (whose area we were in) chased off the other bird (which had flown a few hundred metres to be there) which then returned to its own territory but there was no big confrontation between the birds.

Today I spent some very quality time with the presumed female and even took my tripod with me so have taken some film of better quality than my usual offerings ;-) The other bird sang a couple of times from its territory but did not show.

Pictures and video from today (Friday)

I had the bird so close but in the shade that I was able to use the flash on the superzoom 

in sunlight with the bazooka

searching for mice

interested in tits - Blue ones that is

Pictures and video from Thursday

Maridalen Thursday morning

the presumed female in the same area as the bird I saw on Monday and Tuesday

same bird

and the possible male in same area as Wednesdays sighting

same bird

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Monday plus

Yesterday was in many ways a repetition of Monday except that the pictures of Pygmy Owl were not so good this time (bird sat too high) and the pictures of Bearded Tits were in my unbiased view absolutely fabulous.
The light was again fantastic in Maridalen with fog, snow and sun creating lots of possibilities for exciting photos.

At Fornebu I had different groups of four Beardies in Storøykilen and Holtekilen but surprisingly had none in Koksa which is normally the preferred reedbed.

Maridalen failed to give me a repeat of the Pine Grosbeaks but the Whooper Swan family showed well although appeared restless and will probably soon move south for the winter.

male Bearded Tit (skjeggmeis). Taking pictures of moving birds in reeds in varying light and with a broken optical stabilisor is a bit challenging but if you hold your finger on the shutter button long enough then you get some acceptable results!

this one came out unusually sharp

they say that if the eye is on focus then the picture works...

the above pictures were taken in Holtekilen where the birds were feeding high up in the reeds. In Storøykilen however they were feeding on the ground at the base of the reeds

Bullfinches (dompap) have suddenly arrived in numbers in Maridalen

Goldfinch (stillits)

a young Goosander (laksand)

Grey Heron (hegre)

the small size of Pygmy Owl (spurveugle) is clear in comparison to a Yellowhammer (gulspurv)

I've never noticed this before but Pygmy Owls have little ears/tufts

Water Rail (vannrikse) tracks
The remaining members of the Whooper Swan (sangsvane) family in Maridalen

Cormorants in the Mist - could be a new Norwegian film


this was how it looked at 09:10 and that is the sun through mist and not the moon

slightly underexposed at 10:00

the reedbed at Storøykilen

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Snow and Grosbeaks

So no sooner than I write that the Piney invasion has fizzled out than I have my first two birds of the year. I was standing in Maridalen talking to Bent H and lamenting that I hadn’t found any grosbeaks when low and behold I heard one and then saw two flying over! They looked to land in woodland about 500m away but I never found them again.

I suspect that a good fall of snow today (including in the city) may well have caused birds to move around and crossbills (unsure of species) and Bullfinches were also obvious in Maridalen today.

The Pygmy Owl showed well (although not as well as yesterday) but appears to have become quite a popular photo model so it will be a question of time for how long it hangs around in the same area.

I spotted these birds at a range of about 500m and thought they could be grosbeaks. After jogging towards them though they turned out to be crossbills

and here they are. From this angle it is very difficult to decide how the bill is and I didn't get better views in the field so have left these as unidentified crossbills

Pygmy Owl in the snow

lots of cool light today