I planted a yew (Taxus x meda “Hicksii”) next to the kitchen window mainly for the birds some 20 years ago and the berries regularly attract blackbirds, fieldfares, robin, blackcap, waxwings and as here a redwing only about 1-2m from me!
Norsk: Svarttrost, gråtrost, rødstrupe, munk, sidensvans og rødvingetrost!
I also grow Viburnum opulus (krossved) near to the house. This is an uncommon wild species around here. The berries aren’t the first choice for waxwings (sidensvans), but keep the birds around later in the year as they start on them as soon as other berries they prefer are gone. These berries are now gone (a flock of 300 birds doesn’t take long).
Here the waxwings join a large flock of bramblings (bjørkefink) and a few other species at the feeding station.
I never weary of watching waxwings (sidensvans). Here are 3 videos from snowy Monday this week when one of the biggest flocks this winter descended on the garden with some 330 birds estimated from the first video below, many of which fed on the last elderberries (second and third videos below)!
NB! The windows are now clean :)
More waxwing (sidensvans) videos from the garden.
1) Eating elderberries
2) Displaying flycatching skills
3) A dazed bird on the ground outside the front door; presumably it collided with the house in a drunken state…it ended well, flying off after the video ends.
A female blackcap (munk) was feeding on rowan berries below the house this morning. I see blackcaps a few times every winter nowadays, an increasingly common overwintering bird, thanks to artificial feeding and berries in gardens. They even manage to overwinter at close to 70 degrees north in Tromsø. The map shows all the January observations of blackcaps in Norway in January. Remember that there is only twilight in Tromsø at that time of year. There’s even one observation of a bird sitting in a rowan tree, illuminated by xmas lights, eating the berries and singing on 6th January 2018!
A much better video taken the day after. This bird was catching insects. Right at the end a second female arrives…I hadn’t noticed this at the time!
Recently, I’ve been eating blackberries and Worcesterberries every other day for breakfast. I love these relatively sour berries which extend the berry season right up to the first heavy frosts, normally in November!
Worcesterberry is a selection of the North American coastal black gooseberry (Ribes divaricatum)
It’s been a good year for blackberries. I picked the last ones on Saturday. There are many unripe as usual, but it’s too late now for them to ripen. This is from a bush we were given by Scottish friends who lived in Trondheim in the 80s. They had brought the plant with them from Scotland. It grows on the south facing wall of my house. It isn’t hardy and has to be layed on the ground and covered with leaves / spruce branches….not a pleasant job as it’s a thorny variety!
Most of the thrushes were gone today, replaced by a flock of about 120 waxwings (sidensvans), picking up from where the thrushes left off!
The first two videos show waxwings eating apples opened up by fieldfares and blackbirds yesterday and also eating guelder rose (krossved) berries, so far not touching the elderberries (svarthyll).
Earlier in the day, the waxwings were hunting insects on birch trees and occasionally high into the air in pursuit of insects:
…and the morning after, they had discovered the yew berries!
…and on unharvested redcurrants (rips)….with a fieldfare (gråtrost) and brambling (bjørkefink) at the end of the video!