With 40-50cm of snow in the farm fields, grain-eating birds are desperate for food. Today, some 30 yellowhammers (gulspurv) and many hooded crows (kråke) and jackdaws (kaie) were at the bird feeder where I’d put out some grain this morning!
Spring can’t be stopped and this woodpigeon (ringdue) could be heard singing from the house today and I was woken at 6am (was 5am) by a robin (rødstrupe) singing in the garden (no complaints, always a beautiful moment to hear a returning Robin) ;) A black-headed gull (hettemåke) was also my first of the year and 4 pairs of Oystercatcher (tjeld) were feeding in the bay!!
I also heard singing siskin, great tit, blue tit, greenfinch and coal tit today!
Reports are also coming in of starlings (stær) arriving!
One of my favourite multi-purpose vegetables and one of my first unusual vegetables that I grew in my garden in the 80s was burdock or borre, more specifically various Japanese cultivars of Arctium lappa, hardly used in Europe and North America apart from a few foragers, even though it’s a common wild plant and hardy. Although it is best known as a root vegetable, there are varieties bred for their leaf petioles and the flower stems are really delicious! If you add to this that the seeds are foraged by various birds like goldfinches and greenfinches in winter in addition to being impressive photogenic plants which tolerated shady conditions, no permaculture garden should be without them!
In the album below are pictures I’ve taken over the years, in my garden, in botanical gardens and in the wild. There follows links to various blog posts about burdock!
I always thought that thrushes like fieldfares / gråtrost and starlings / stær “shared” the most saskatoon berries (Amelanchier spp.) in my garden, but now I have to rethink as I noticed and filmed both blue tits / blåmeis and greenfinches / grønnfink eating the berries today, the blue tits taking the fruit whilst the greenfinches were eating the seed…
I love the taste of saskatoons both fresh and in particular dried, tasty but not too sweet! However, I think I’ll leave the rest to the birds (not too good a crop this year anyway)…
It was difficult to concentrate at the weekend as there was so much happening outside the living room window…here’s a selection of still pictures and videos of birds eating wild food and at and under the bird feeder!
Following up on yesterday’s film, here we see a greenfinch trying to take morcels of seed from a hawfinch (kjernebiter)..I saw this several times today and yesterday…it happens very quickly, but a still picture (below) seems to show the greenfinch’s beak inside the beak of the hawfinch and the greenfinch is pushed away..