Tag Archives: wildlife

Bird-watching at Østensjøvannet

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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…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 🙂

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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 🙂

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Isielva

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.