I’ve talked about Utterslev Mose for some time now, so I guess you must be quite familiar with the place. Because it’s situated next to my apartment, I often go there to enjoy the sunset when I’m not in a traveling mood. While the birds there are usually not extravagant, you can get good sights of some common species, especially when they are fed by humans.
During the month of January, the three lakes were frozen. Completely frozen? No. A small hole of free water resisted the invasion, maintained as it was by the ducks and coots swarming for a meal. During the cold days, this was the only place where you could reliably see birds in the area, except for some alders which attracted flocks of Eurasian siskins (Spinus spinus). Thus, it’s no surprise the Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata), that showed up in January, was spotted at this very point for a week or two.
The Mandarin duck is an Asian waterfowl, but very appreciated by parks and zoos. Some individuals escape and survive in the wild, their gorgeous colors delighting the viewers.
In the sunset light, I think this bird qualifies for the theme of this week’s photo challenge, Vibrant 😉
Apart from this little treat, the rampant ice brought a few Common pochards (Aythya ferina) next to the shore, which usually never happens.
Of course, there are always lots of gulls, mostly Black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus).
It’s very funny to see them fight for chunks of bread: the one that catches one had better have good wings if it wants to evade the chase. When they do that, it’s difficult to follow them with the camera, let alone get a pic with the whole bird inside the frame.
When they hover in the wind, waiting for the next feast, it’s much easier, as they just fly in front of you and strike the pose. It reminds me of the gulls that follow the ferry to Suomenlinna, in Helsinki.
If you’re lucky, you may find a group of Bohemian waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) whistling in the trees. These visitors from the north like berries, but sometimes they simply rest at the top of the trees, enjoying the warm light of sunset. A pair of Smews (Mergellus albellus) or a Goosander (Mergus merganser) can be the icing on the cake.
Finally, there’s always this very special place where the setting sun sets fire to the reeds.
UPDATE on our eastern visitor: the Black-throated thrush (Turdus atrogularis) was seen again today. It’s been two weeks it’s elected to stay in this backyard of Bispebjerg, in Copenhagen’s Nordvest neighboorhood. Since last time, I’ve visited it twice, in quest for a picture at approximately eye-level (and not from underneath, as you can see in my previous article). I was not very lucky in my endeavours: the bird showed tremendously well, but it was always a bit too far, or hidden behind a branch, a leaf or a bunch of berries. Too bad!
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