Yesterday, a magpie (a young bird I think) decided to visit our living room (aka indoor forest garden) and had to be shown the way out again….making it 3 species of bird I’ve recorded indoors (great tit / kjøttmeis and a feral pigeon / bydue) being the others. Now it decided to have a bath in rain water containers right in front of us!!! They are normally rather shy birds.
I registered 3 great tit (kjøttmeis) territories and 1 blue tit (blåmeis) pair in the garden this year and both have raised young. One of the young great tits has been picking off diamond back moth (kålmøll) larvae on flowering radish plants on the balcony as you can see in the video:
I’ve written several times of our new breeding bird species, Siberian Nutcracker (nøttekråke), that is colonising the forests around Trondheim as a new breeding species as a result of widespread planting of Pinus cembra in the 1970s, one of the sources of pine nuts and an important winter food for this species at home in Siberia.
I’ve heard their characteristic call over the last few days and was able to film them this afternoon! To my great surprise, it was an adult bird accompanied by two young which can be seen begging for food, something I’ve never seen before! They have presumably bred in the forest nearby and have come down to richer feeding grounds in the garden!
A week ago I noticed my oldest Pinus cembra was full of male flowers (pictures at the bottom) and yesterday it was shedding pollen as you can see in the videos. In cold climates pines are the best bet for nut production although I can grow hazels and walnuts here. I’ve told the story before as to how Siberian Nutcrackers “planted” (read: cached) pine trees in my garden from plantings of this species locally on Malvikodden in the 1970s which started bearing fruits in the 1990s. Because people have planted the food plant of Siberian Nutcrackers, there is now an isolated population of breeding birds in this area and the birds are actively spreading their food plant by caching the nuts for winter food. I’ve had one cone on my tree so far a couple of years ago
Lesser whitethroat (møller) singing in the garden with a blue tit (blåmeis) joining in. In the second video you can hear snatches of the subsong. Lesser whitethroats overwinter south of the Sahara in Africa and in India.
My friend the robin’s worst fiends are all the neighbour cats…..and he/she has young to protect now.
I hear the robin alarming before I see the cat.
A few days ago it was snowing, today it could reach 20C for the first time this year! And the warmer southerly winds has brought in a new wave of seasonal migrants….it’s always nice to hear my first Icterine warbler (gulsanger) and I also heard my first cuckoo (gjøk)!
And a brambling (bjørkefink) was again singing its nasal song in the garden:
Bramblings (bjørkefink) are common breeding birds at higher elevations, but it’s just possible that they will breed here one day. This is the closest I’ve got with a male singing the last few days in the garden, here atop a Norway maple (spisslønn), the flowers still waiting after two very cold weeks!
A pair of common gulls (fiskemåke) testing the neighbour’s chimney for size this morning:
I thought I’d take you for a tour of the lower parts of the garden including the forest garden. No commentary, let’s just listen to the birds and observe. In the first video, I unexpectedly stumble on a willow warbler (løvsanger), my first in the garden this year, foraging on the ground in the cold weather….you can otherwise hear singing redwing (rødvingetrost), great tit (kjøttmeis), fieldfare (gråtrost), meadow pipit (heipiplerke), house sparrow (gråspurv) and blue tit (blåmeis) in one of the two videos.