With Covid a long way from being over, I’m wishing I was a bird! We probably won’t be visiting family in the UK this winter and this morning there were some 50 fieldfares (gråtrost) and a few redwings and blackbirds feeding on rowan berries in the garden and above I could witness thousands of thrushes passing the house towards west. On some autumn days thrushes will stream past all day in the same direction, maybe following the fjord. The weather chart shows perfect flying conditions with light north easterly winds between Norway and the UK, so I’m thinking these are bound where I can’t go…
Apart from a small resting flock of 5 birds seen resting in the bay in early March 2017 I’ve never seen Canada Geese (Kanadagås) in the bay before this week when a flock of some 60 birds has been feeding on farmland, occasionally resting in the bay as in the video.
…and right past the house:
It felt really autumny early this morning with geese moving, cranes (trane) calling in the distance and fog hanging over Stjørdal.
Wishing my oldest and favourite son, Robin Arne Barstow, a very happy 37th today…..with a young basking robin (rødstrupe) in the garden
This is another example where an untidy garden attracts wildlife. One of my Manchurian walnuts died last winter and rather than cutting it down, I decided to leave it as a perch for flycatchers….and, as ordered, they arrived today, spotted flycatchers (gråfluesnapper). They typically turn up in the garden at this time in small numbers, never breeding. Presumably this is a young bird still begging for food from its parent.
With warm weather and the balcony door open, yet another bird species found its way into my indoors forest garden this evening , hunting for flies on the windows: a wren (gjerdesmett). I showed him the way out shortly afterwards!
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