Yesterday I found myself trailing behind Jr and Jr Jr whilst they hunted Pokémons in Frognerparken. This suited Sr just fine as the small lakes here can house a few birds in the winter months. Yesterday there were no less than five species of duck with 100+ Mallard being accompanied by a young male Wigeon, 4 female Tufted Ducks, 3 male Goldeneyes and a staggering 13 Teal! This would appear to be a record count for the site and consisted of 11 females and two males.
Both males were already acting as though they were paired off and whilst one male was a fine adult the other was a bird of the year and in not quite so pristine plumage. The lakes are also regularly used by gulls coming in for a bathe plus a few lingering birds looking for bread thrown to the ducks. Previously the lake has held Med Gull, Iceland Gull and Ring-billed Gull although in recent winters its mostly Herring Gulls one finds here.
The overwintering populations of the two small gulls (Black-headed and Common) has declined dramatically in the last 5-10 years in Oslo and the 5 adult Black-headed Gulls that I had bathing on the lake may represent the entire winter population in Oslo. 4 Common Gulls are also a high proportion of that species population. Quite why these species have declined is hard to say and although both are also suffering declining breeding populations I think there must be something specific about the winter conditions that it affecting the wintering populations.
I only had the superzoom with me and in low light overcastmid winter conditions the resulting pictures suffer a lot but I will force them upon you anyway…