It’s always a surprise when I’m woken to the song of a wren (gjerdesmett) in the garden at this time of year. This is not only the second smallest bird in Norway, but along with the smallest bird goldcrest (fuglekonge) they rely almost only on natural food and don’t come to bird feeders. It’s been a relatively snow rich winter with stable conditions over long periods, but somehow this bird has made it through the winter. There have been reports of wrens regularly through the winter in this area, so it’s likely that it has overwintered (some of the local population migrate to milder areas in western Europe). I haven’t heard them in the daytime yet this year, so it’s probably spending the night in one of the bird boxes in the garden and finding food elsewhere!
It’s not often that I see the resident blackcap singing as it usually sings well hidden in the bushes, but today it sang from the top of a birch tree (see the end of this sequence).
Even though it was only 5 am, I was happy to be woken this morning by a wren (gjerdesmett) singing in the garden. Good to hear that at least one has survived the cold winter.
I heard a magpie “singing” this morning outside the front door. It has been desribed as a low-pitched, slightly chirping giggle and is in my experience most often heard on cold winter days. Indeed song has been recorded in January in Finnmark (the northernmost county of Norway) in an air temperature of -36C!
Unfortunately, the magpie discovered me as soon as I started filming and there’s only a very short snatch at the beginning.
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.
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!