Bullfinches (dompap in Norwegian) have an unique biannual appearance in the garden. They feed from autumn to early spring on natural food and on the bird feeder. Of the natural foods, I’ve seen them feeding on nettle (nesle) seeds, maple seeds (sycamore and Norway maple / platanlønn og spisslønn) as well as buds of plums. They then disappear in March, but return again every year about the time when the apple trees are coming into flower. I presume they are interested in the ripening buds, but have never seen them eating them. A pair appeared again in the garden two days ago and here are a couple of short films. In the second, you can even here a snatch of bullfinch song. I’ve never heard that in May before, but they do sing weakly in late winter sometimes.
There could hardly be more blossom on the apples this year! Looks like yet another good year.
Sat in the garden this evening and I noticed both male and female pied flycatchers (svarthvit fluesnapper) having a bath in a bucket planted up with the water plant chinese arrowhead (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=19451). The female sat conveniently above the bucket for me to film! You get a quick glimpse of the male sitting by the water at the start of the first film!
There’s one Norwegian pine tree in the garden (Pinus sylvestris) which has grown slowly over the years since we moved here and is now approaching the height of the birch trees. It now regularly produces cones, but this is the first time that I’ve seen siskins feeding on the nuts. Coniferous tree seeds are the main food of the siskin in spring.
I was woken this morning to the sound of swallows (låvesvale) outside and a flock of some 15-20 birds were feeding low over the tree tops encouraged northwards last week by the warm weather over the whole of southern Norway and a week of temperatures close to 20C and a maximum of 22C in Trondheim. The temperature has now plummeted 15-20C and it’s rained! The hazy dusty warm weather due to farmers ploughing the dry land (a month of drought) in combination with the arrival of Saharan dust and pollen laden air is replaced with a heavy snow warning, although it’s unlikely to be a frost here on the coast. So, those swallows are in for a shock!!
I heard dunnock (jernspurv) singing in the garden for the first time this year, the normal time for them to arrive here. They occasionally overwinter, but I’ve never seen one in winter. Today I made this video of one singing high in a spruce tree in the garden today! Robin song can also be heard here.
Today it was warm enough to sit outside and work for the first time this year (with a thick jumper)….and today it was the resident blue tit (blåmeis) who sang for me :)
(Warm enough=no wind, sunny and max. +10C)
I was in the garden most of the day, sawing up firewood and storing it for the winter. I was followed around by my friend the robin (rødstrupe) and he even sang to me at 1m distance! When I first moved here robins were shy forest birds, but they have become less and less shy over the years as is the case further south in Europe! In this short film, he catches a worm as he’s following me! I guess this weak song is a love song rather than a “you’re a rival, keep out of my territory” song ;)