With Covid a long way from being over, I’m wishing I was a bird! We probably won’t be visiting family in the UK this winter and this morning there were some 50 fieldfares (gråtrost) and a few redwings and blackbirds feeding on rowan berries in the garden and above I could witness thousands of thrushes passing the house towards west. On some autumn days thrushes will stream past all day in the same direction, maybe following the fjord. The weather chart shows perfect flying conditions with light north easterly winds between Norway and the UK, so I’m thinking these are bound where I can’t go…
Following the blizzard like conditions over the last two days the low pressure system moved away eastwards and a high pressure ridge with light winds built up over Norway last night and there was a light drizzle and just above freezing this morning. I sat down at my desk with the fire going and window open and very soon I heard what I had been expecting…redwings (rødvingetrost) started singing and calling just outside the window right on schedule for their mid-April arrival time slot! Then, a bit later I spotted a song thrush (måltrost) foraging, later redwings were foraging on the ground and two dunnocks (jernspurv) also appeared, unusual to see this shy bird, no doubt also newly arrived. There was only bare ground near the fjord this morning, concentrating the birds hungry for some food….
One of the highlights of spring for me are the large flocks of pink-footed geese (pinkfeet) or kortnebbgjess in Norwegian passing Malvik on the final stage of their journey from their overwintering grounds in the low countries to their staging post just north of here before the final journey to Svalbard. We heard yesterday that an estimated 15,000 pinkfeet had been observed flying north over Oslofjorden and on up Gudbrandsdalen the broad river valley north from Oslo to Trondheim. However, last night we were told that due to bad weather they had stopped south of the mountains. I heard a few last night so a few had flown over the mountains….but I was woke at 07:30 as the first flocks started passing and they continued in a steady stream until I had to leave at 12 pm.
I recorded as many flocks as I could by pictures and videos….and estimate that at least 3,590 birds passed in 22 flocks during the morning…so today was very different to what I’d planned! This is the largest number I’ve recorded here and the main migration is nowadays 1 month earlier than it used to be, one of the most obvious and dramatic signs of climate change here….
This was the radar picture over Norway, so it looks like the birds have had good flying conditions from their overwintering area in the Netherlands and Belgium until just before they reached the Trondheimsfjord where I live (where the band of rain is located)