#387 at Vigeland

After lunch today, Beth and I headed up to Vigeland to see the sculptures and what birds we could find. Vigeland is not an ideal birding park–too little cover–but it does have some water that attracts birds, and the sculptures themselves would be worth seeing even without birds. These are truly weird.

What are these two up to?

Almost as soon as we got off the train we found a Magpie. They’re common here, as they are in many European cities. Most of the park is just lawns with nicely ordered lines of trees: not ideal habitat. However there is one damned pond in the middle of the park that attracted some waterfowl: Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye, Greylag Geese (3), Mallards, and one Common Moorhen. There were also some Herring Gulls and Black-headed Gulls and a small Wagtail or two I couldn’t get very close too (probably a White Wagtail though). Very nice, but not new. However in a tree next to the pond in flew a smallish, grayish crow. Could it be? Quickly scanning it with binoculars I was rewarded with a yellow eye with a black pupil, a distinguishing field mark of a Jackdaw, a bird I’ve been looking for for a few years now.

Jackdaw perched at Vigeland Park

Just to clinch the ID, a few more flew in; and a Hooded Crow joined them so the size difference was apparent. It wasn’t my imagination. These birds really were smaller than normal crows.

Jackdaw, Hooded Crow and Black-headed Gulls

On the tram home, we noticed an ad for an Ibsen festival including an opera about Ibsen tonight at the cafe Grand. It was sold out, but we were able to snag a table near the door with a limited view of the stage but next to Mr. IBsen’s old table (or so we were told. I tend to doubt he really left his hat there though.)

Ibsen’s table at the Grand Cafe, Oslo

The music was good. That it was in large part ripped off from classics of Beethoven and others probably accounted for that. The singers were also excellent even I didn’t understand a word of what anybody was saying. I can’t really blame that on their diction. That’s par for the course in opera, even when it isn’t sung in Norwegian. All told, it was a very nice dinner.

Overall, that makes four life birds for the trip so far. Two per day is pretty good given that I haven’t even visited any sites just for birding. I’d like to get to at least one wildlife preserve while I’m here. Tomorrow doesn’t look good though. It’s 90% chance of rain. We’ll probably go to the Munch Museum instead. Still the Botanical Gardens are right next door, so if the rain lets up for a while, maybe I can get squeeze in two more lifers. :-)


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