Spring Chickens by Conor Cunningham

A mother swan and her cygnets

The unusually warm weather continues and the birds' youngsters are all around the place. A trip recently to Østensjøvannet ( a small lake in Oslo ) revealed plenty of wee birds still yet to fledge and generally taking it easy.

A Great Crested Grebe and youngster

I used my 200mm lense for all of the shots which meant some pretty serious cropping on a lot of them. I hope to get myself a tele-extender soon which will boost me up to 400mm but at a cost of two f-stops which will bring me to f/5.6. Not ideal, but $1000 versus $10,000 is a no brainer at stage in my photographic career.

A Coot and her odd looking wee ones.

Oslo has its ups and downs, as do most cities, but its number of parks, forests, waterways and sea is fantastic for those that like the outdoors and the loonies amongst us who enjoying chasing after our flying friends.

Ducklings swim by with their mother to camera right, out of frame.

If you've not been to Østensjøvannet before, I can recommend a trip, even if it is just for a stroll or space forbid, a jog! If you do however wish to see some of spring's natural goodies, you won't be disappointed.

Great Crested Grebes giving the little one a swimming lesson.

Spring in Oslo by Conor Cunningham

Eva had told me it was Magnolia season and the Oslo Botanical Gardens in Toyen were the place to see them. So after work yesterday we set off for a walk around the gardens.

Flower gardens begin to bloom in Oslo Botanisk Hage

Ironically however, the Magnolias in the botanical gardens were not yet in full bloom, unlike the ones in Slottsparken (the gardens of the royal palace downtown).

The birds were out in full swing however, as were the bees and bumble bees.

A starling on the hunt for some grub.

The starling above was on the search for food and worked with Mrs. Starling to do so. They'd fly up onto the tree to its right and head for a wee hole. Perhaps they have young or are preparing a nest.

Looks good out there.

The cherry blossoms on the other hand had well and truly started blooming. 

One of the cherry blossoms in the full swing of spring.

The tree above was populated by some happy bees. I did my best to capture a bumble been on film, but the best shot I got of it was obscured by a branch.

Little so and so hid behind a branch

With a little effort, I did mange to get a couple of pictures of Bumbles, but it was rather camera shy and wouldn't look down the barrel of the lense.

Bumbles having a grand old time.

Found evidence in support of the phrase, busy as a bee.

A lonely cherry blossom after Bumbles flew off

Whilst the Magnolias weren't as expected in the gardens, we did manage to find one on the way home. This one is by the roundabout at the intersection of ring one and Karl Johans Gate.

A Magnolia in full bloom.

A Magnolia in full bloom.