A female blackcap (munk) was feeding on rowan berries below the house this morning. I see blackcaps a few times every winter nowadays, an increasingly common overwintering bird, thanks to artificial feeding and berries in gardens. They even manage to overwinter at close to 70 degrees north in Tromsø. The map shows all the January observations of blackcaps in Norway in January. Remember that there is only twilight in Tromsø at that time of year. There’s even one observation of a bird sitting in a rowan tree, illuminated by xmas lights, eating the berries and singing on 6th January 2018!
A much better video taken the day after. This bird was catching insects. Right at the end a second female arrives…I hadn’t noticed this at the time!
The male blackcap (munk) was this morning feeding on yew berries (a garden variety “Hicksii”). This yew is right next to the kitchen window and has attracted several fruit eating species including blackbird (svarttrost), redwing (rødvingetrost), fieldfare ( gråtrost), waxwings (sidensvans) and last night for the first time a song thrush (måltrost).
Documentation of yet another amazing day during last week’s Perennialen III in Hardanger!! Pictures taken on a fantastic 6-7 hour round trip from Eirik Lillebøe Wiken and Hege Iren Aasdal Wiken’s house to their shieling (støl or seter in Norwegian). We took our time botanising on the way up, passing through different types of forest on the way up, from alder (or), ash (ask), planted spruce (gran), lime (lind), elm (alm), hazel (hassel), aspen (osp) and birch (bjørk) at the highest levels. Lower down, old apple trees witnessed that these steep slopes had at one time been worked for fruit production, no easy matter….
Eirik and Hege are planning to rejuvenate and replant some of this area and have planted a multispecies forest garden above and below the house, probably one of the most dramatic forest gardens in the world (more later).
I woke at 4am to the familiar song of the blackcap (munk) which had no doubt arrived with the warmer weather during the early hours…this is very late for my first blackcap of the year (I’ve heard them in the past even in late April)
On the way to work this morning my first singing Icterine warbler / gulsanger of 2016 at Leangenbukta. The warbler is heard at the beginning with a chaffinch/ bokfink and is then swamped by a singing redwing / rødvingetrost with a willow warbler/løvsanger and blackcap /munk in the mix too.