Redwing (rødvingetrost) is a bird that seems to have become more common in winter here. I’ve recorded this species 4 of the last 10 winters here. I never saw it in winter the 30 winters before that!
Unusually large numbers of thrushes, mainly fieldfare (gråtrost), redwings (rødvingetrost) and a few blackbirds (svarttrost) in the garden at the moment, mainly on the rowans (wild and planted for the birds) and apples (need to harvest earlier than normal this year).
This year is a bumper year for rowans near the fjord, but poor a little inland due probably to frosts which didn’t affect us! Late frost at the time of fruit flowering iis very unusual where I am near the fjord (due to a combination of warmth from the fjord and the fact that there isn’t night at this time!). This has concentrated thrushes near the fjord where the food is!
- Blackbird on apples
2. Redwing and fieldfares on rowan
3. Fieldfare on rowan (this tree was more or less stripped of berries during the day)
I sorted my stored apples yesterday and put out ones that had begun to rot for the waxwings and thrushes outside the kitchen window. This was the scene this morning!
I try to “grow” as much food for birds as possible in my garden. This includes leaving some fruit, planting various species of rowan (Sorbus), not tidying the garden until late winter, so that, for example, seed of nettles and burdock is available for finches. I also don’t feed the birds with bought in sunflower seeds until it gets properly cold, until then there’s plenty of natural food available. There’s nowadays a large acreage put down to non-organic production of bird seed in other countries which is certainly detrimental to birdlife in those countries and there is evidence that providing bird seed during the breeding season can have a negative effect on some species! So, is feeding birds a good thing or just for our entertainment? A bit of both I think!
- Hawfinch and waxwings towards the end…taken from the living room /office!
2. Waxwing on apple. It was a bad rowan berry year and there are unusually few waxwings around (perhaps good news for an invasion further south, e.g., in the UK?). This is one of the apples I left for the birds…the video was taken from the living room!
At least one, maybe two blackcaps (munk in Norwegian) were foraging on my apple trees most of today.
Both of these thrushes, European robin (rødstrupe) and blackbird (svarttrost) overwinter in small numbers, mainly in the lowlands here.
1. Blackbird (svarttrost) and great spotted woodpecker (flaggspett)
2. Bullfinches (male and female; dompap) on plum buds (not too happy with this), there were 8 birds altogether….hopefully they won’t do too much damage… :(
3. Fieldfare (gråtrost) on apple
A storm is blowing this morning and a flock of some 30 fieldfares (gråtrost) were feeding and fighting over fallen half rotten apples in the garden!
At the apple moon coring and cutting apples is a must..processed a couple of hundred apples today, now drying over the wood stove and in the oven. It’s a it more urgent than normal as -8C when I finally managed to harvest them was a bit too much and they won’t be able to be stored long this year (all have brownish blotches on the outside), a bit like the supermoon picture I just took, see below ;)