Tag Archives: birds

8 days

Finally my summer vacation and three whole weeks that I want to use to its fullest; get up in the mornings, grab my gear and get out and get some fresh air and hopefully some decent photos. So far so good. Eight days passed with the clock set at 6 in the morning. That didn’t use to be my idea of a holiday, but it actually feels very good. Elsie and I have managed to travel around in our local area every day,  to some places that were familiar to us and to some new places as well…

Day 1 – Semsvannet
Day 1 – Semsvannet

Semsvannet is a lovely lake that we have visited several times lately. This first day we had a very enjoyable stroll in the morning sun and finished it with ice-cream and waffles at the nice café Smia.

Day 2 – Lomma

The second morning we took a hike up along the Lomma river that goes up through the valley Lommedalen in northern Bærum.

Day 3 - Ståvivann
Day 3 – Ståvivann

The next morning we decided to check out a nearby lake we haven’t been to before. It is called Ståvivann and is situated in an area with a few farms around. We found this beautiful old ash-tree on our trip. The ash (ask in Norwegian) is what has given the name to the Asker district.

Day 4 - Bergsåsen
Day 4 – Bergsåsen

Onwards and up. This steep path leads up to Bergsåsen which is the highest hill-top in Asker (459 m / 1500 ft). The blue marking on the tree is the what the Norwegian Tourist Bureau (DNT) uses to mark its summer routes all over the country.

Day 4 - Bergsåsen
Day 4 – Bergsåsen
Day 4 - Bergsåsen
Day 4 – Bergsåsen

The view from up here is beautiful and well worth the hike.

Day 4 - Hagahogget
Day 4 – Hagahogget

The view from the nearby Hagahogget. The closest lake is Semsvannet with Skaugumsåsen just behind. Further out we see the Oslo Fjord that leads into the Norwegian capital.

The fifth morning we wanted to do some bird-watching, and went to Oslo and the lake Østensjøvannet again:

Day 5 - Eurasian Coot, Østensjøvannet
Day 5 – Eurasian Coot, Østensjøvannet
Day 5 - Mallard, Østensjøvannet
Day 5 – Mallard, Østensjøvannet

June is the month for bird-watching I’m told. But what we see now in July is all the chicks taking their first trips out from the nest. Charming creatures.

Day 5 - Tufted Duck, Østensjøvannet
Day 5 – Tufted Duck, Østensjøvannet

But I guess handling 19 of them must be a mouthful. The tufted duck can lay up to 12 eggs, so I wonder how this poor mother got herself into this situation.

Day 5 - Graylag Goose
Day 5 – Graylag Goose

Mmmm, yes I splashed the cash for a new Canon EF 400 5.6L and BIF (Birds In Flight) photography have suddenly become much more enjoyable 🙂

Day 6 - Semsvannet
Day 6 – Semsvannet

The sixth morning saw us passing by Semsvannet again. This time we took a longer hike up in the woods to north of the lake.

Day 6 - wooden beast
Day 6 – wooden beast

One thing I love about the woods is how all the natural shapes evokes the fantasy. Rocks, trees, moss, anything can conjure up images of the mythological beasts we know from the old fairy tales.

Day 6 - Fløyta
Day 6 – Fløyta

Our hike took us up to a beautiful place called Fløyta.

Day 7 - Kalvøya
Day 7 – Kalvøya

A bit stiff-legged from the previous day’s hike we decided to take an easy morning stroll around Kalvøya island just outside the city Sandvika where we live.

Day 7 – Kalvøya
Day 7 - Eurasian Oystercatcher, Kalvøya
Day 7 – Eurasian Oystercatcher, Kalvøya
Day 7 - Great Black-backed Gull, Kalvøya
Day 7 – Great Black-backed Gull, Kalvøya

Some peaceful plant- and bird-watching at Kalvøya this morning. Well rested we went for a long hike on the eighth day:

Day 8 - Øyervann
Day 8 – Øyervann

After a long trek around Brunkollen and Haslumseter we came down to Øyervann lake which used to be much bigger when it was dammed up a few hundered years ago. This was an area where iron-ore used to be mined in the old days.

Day 8 - Burudvann
Day 8 – Burudvann

We finally came back to Burudvann where we started our hike this morning. Like the guys in Tour de France we have decided to take a rest tomorrow. 😉

Bird-watching at Østensjøvannet


Østensjøvannet is a small lake situated close to central Oslo. It has rich wetland vegetation and is a well-known place for city dwellers who appreciate serious bird-watching.



The Great Crested Grebe (no:toppdykker) is the poster-boy and the icon bird of Østensjøvannet.


Friends of Østensjøvannet” (web pages in Norwegian only) is a support group dedicated to the protection of the lake. There is a lot people visiting the place every day and in order to give the birds some peace and quiet they will move the walking paths a bit away from the lakeside and put up these watching stations in stead.


Black-headed Gull (no:hettemåke) building a nest.


The Bar-headed Goose (no: stripegås) is a rare visitor. Very few of these birds reside in Norway. Seeing one of these is what makes Østensjøvannet such a special place.


…which of course I wouldn’t know jack shit about if it weren’t for my dear Elsie who patiently tries to teach me the basics about different kinds of birds 🙂



Yesterday we managed to get there before sunrise which means close to midnight this time of the year  in southern Norway.


Most birds, like these Canada geese (no: kanadagås) are early risers as well.


Not a very popular bird among many people, the Canada Goose. It was imported some years ago and have taken over the natural habitat from other birds. And they shit all over our beaches. Hey, but the kids are still cute.


Another common fellow here is the Graylag Goose (no: grågås). Here seen during morning rush-hour.


Eurasian Coot (no: sothøne) and Tufted Duck (no: toppand) (picture below) from pictures I took here last week.



Birds in flight (BIF) photography is very challenging and fun. Makes me strongly considering blowing some cash on one of these babies:


Ah well, they look good good on the ground/water as well, the birds do. Anyway, getting up early in the morning is a strange and stimulating exercise. Since we don’t have a dog our cameras will have to do. They need to stretch their legs (or something) and our duty as proud owners is to follow them around 🙂




Went up along Isi river (Isielva) this afternoon with Elsie. The sun has been shining the whole weekend and there are some signs now that we will finally get some warmer weather.


There’s still almost a meter of snow on the ground so if the weather changes suddenly now and snow melts rapidly the river will be flooded.


Elsie went here a little while ago and got some pictures of a bird she hadn’t seen here before. And suddenly she saw it again and notified me. She only knew the Swedish name for it, and when she looked it up later it turned out to be a white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) or in Norwegian “fossekall”. It is actually the National bird of Norway, whatever that means. When I started shooting pictures it had just come up of the water where it had caught a fish.



It then started whacking the fish around on the ice until it finally had killed it and started eating it. Fun to watch. Too bad i didn’t have crop camera and teleconverter  today. The pictures here are taken at 200 mm but had to be cropped almost to 1:1. So no nice high resolution pics this time, but the bird is still recognizable.


This is where a full format camera is a nice tool to have however. The full resolution version of this picture really pops out with practically no post production work needed.