Tag Archives: brambling

Icterine warbler and Brambling

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:

Singing Brambling

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!

Third day of snow

3 mornings in a row new snow has greeted me, but it mostly melts again during the day. I’m feeling for people in the north where the arctic city of Tromsø still has over 1m depth of snow and in the hills around here where the snow is accumulating. On the plus side I can still harvest for dinner in the afternoon and there’s entertainment with the abnormal numbers of birds in the garden foraging as open patches start appearing every morning. There are still several meadow pipits (heipiplerke) and many fieldfares (gråtrost) some coming right up to the house. This morning bramblings (bjørkefink) also made an appearance. 

Nervous blackcap on apple

A male blackcap (munk) in the garden feeding nervously on an apple that a fieldfare (gråtrost) has been guarding attacking any bird that gets near.



…and then demonstrating that SIZE MATTERS as Herr Blackcap (munk) meets Hr. Hawfinch (kjernebiter) with guest appearances by Hr. Siskin (grønnsisik) and Hr. Brambling (bjørkefink)…..and there’s a finale!

 

 

 

Snow birds

Two days of snow has attracted a large flock of birds to my bird feeder with some 30 bramblings (bjørkefink) and, nice to see, around 25 house sparrows (gråspurv), largely missing in recent years.
Even waxwings (sidensvans) are attracted although they don’t stay for long.

Bramblings and nettles

There are many bramblings (bjørkefink) in the garden at the moment and yesterday I noticed them eating nettle seed for the first time! I’ve previously recorded bullfinches (dompap) on nettles. So, yet another of many reasons to have a large patch of nettles in the garden in view of the house: others include nutritious food for us, nettle water fertiliser, fibre, food for butterfly larvae…
This gives me an idea! Next year I’ll gather nettle seed outside the garden and put it on the bird feeder. Try to reduce the huge amounts of bird seed that are bought every year by providing as much natural food as possible! Bird seed is produced in large monocultures (mostly non-organically). I wonder how many birds are displaced or killed in the process?

The return of the waxwings

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!

Birds in the garden 13th February 2018

1. Nuthatch and Great spotted woodpecker atop a spruce tree

2. My handsome grey red squirrel disappears up the tree with a grunt

3. I had a  rodent visitor in the night on the balcony on the second floor outside my bedroom…it had climbed up through the Clematis

4. Redpolls with several others

5. Long-tailed tits

6. Bully Robin!