Ice-cold Southern Norway

We have moved south to our base by the Oslofjord south of Oslo for the darkest period of the winter. Our hope to go birding in milder and snow-free conditions was put down immediately, as the first week of December came up with temperatures around -10 degrees Celsius and ice-cold winds.
However, it is fascinating to see how many of the regular bird species handles these harsh conditions. For many of them, most of the population are migratory, while a few choose to stay through the tough Norwegian winter to be the first in place at the best breeding sites in spring.

The Goldcrest is the smallest bird in Europe. Quite a few spend the winter in Norway, frenetically searching for food in scrubs and woodland.

The Blackbird is a regular winter guest, feeding mostly on fruit and berries.

The European Robin is mainly migratory, but regularly stay for the winter in small numbers. In the cold weather they are often feeding along the shoreline.

The Wren was seen in good numbers despite the cold weather. They survive the coldest periods by roosting together in groups in sheltered holes.

Of the pipits, the Rock Pipit is a regular winter guest along the shorelines of the Oslofjord.

A few Meadow Pipits also stay behind this far north.

Most starlings move to Continental Europe in winter, but a few can still be found along the coast.

The Hooded Crow stays throughout the year, a true survivor.

Bluetits are among the regulars around the feeders.

Siskins roam around in small flocks, feeding on seeds of birch and alder trees.

The Bearded Tits are rare winter guests in the large reedbeds around T√łnsberg, where they feed on the reed seeds.

Most freshwater was frozen over, but this Teal found an open spot in a small stream.

A young Moorhen was a surprising find in one of the few ponds of open water.

A few raptors are hanging around, as rodents seems to be abundant, among them a Rough-legged Buzzard.