Ice cold start of 2024

We always start a new year with some kind of bird-race – who will find the most species in the first weeks of January? This year has been extremely slow in South-eastern Norway, as the new year started with temperatures down to minus 20 degrees Celsius and heavy snowfall. A lot of the wintering birds have a really hard time, and the mortality is high.

A small group of parrot crossbills feeding in a group of pine trees near our house have been a nice surprise.

A couple of rooks resting in Horten; their feathers brimmed white with frost.

Mortality increase with the cold weather; sadly we found two dead long-eared owls near our house.

A young peregrine resting outside the reed beds at Øra, with clouds of frost mist dances over the open water.

Ducks seems to be least affected by the cold weather, as it is still open water in the fjords. A couple of goldeneyes and a somewhat odd female tufted duck.

The highlight of January so far, was a young white-tailed eagle feeding on a dead mute swan. The 3cy bird was ringed and is the offspring of a pair that started nesting in the inner parts of Oslofjord recently.

An adult bird was also hanging around the prey, but more sceptical to come down in our presence.