This January has been a stormy month here in this area with a series of severe weather systems moving past, one (Gyda) with a name, resulting in many trees down, flooding, landslides and avalanches, but my rocky hillside has escaped lightly with just a few branches ripped from trees. With winds largely blowing from the west it’s also been mild with snow coming and going and no frost in the soil. Higher up, there¨’s been large amounts of snow accumulating. The latest extreme weather system has given a forecast of very high waves on the Norwegian coast with a deep 960 hPa low located off Eastern Greenland and extensive strong wind fields between there and Norway. Due to the limited fetch lengths in the fjord (maximum about 20 km across the fjord) significant wave heights above 1.5 to 2m are rare. With very strong winds from NE blowing across the fjord and the right stage of the tide, there were some impressive waves in the bay earlier this week. The second video shows a woodpigeon (ringdue) hunched up against the wind.
A new bird species for the garden this morning, a stock dove (skogdue) in the company of a woodpigeon? Stock doves are very rare breeders in my area, but seem to becoming more common. In fact, apart from one observation in 1928 and, remarkably, one bird on exactly the same day on the other side of Trondheim, I recorded the first stock dove in my county (Trøndelag) on 13th May 1982 at Malvikodden on the other side of the bay from where I live and the first spring after I moved to Norway. I would probably have missed it as I only heard the song, which I was familiar with from living in Scotland. Although breeding was never proven, singing birds were observed on Malvikodden until the last observation in 1987. It was then almost 20 years before the next breeding observation in Trøndelag (see the histogram).
An article was written about this by a neighbour, Stein Are Sæther;
Sæther 1987: Skogdua i Trøndelag. Trøndersk Natur 14: 86-94.
We put the clocks forward last night. It’s now Summer Time! However, nature is thinking otherwise and from flowering crocus, snowdrops and wild Hepatica nobilis (blåveis) everything is white this morning!
Yesterday at dawn sounded like spring again in the garden and I heard both woodpigeon (ringdue), robin (rødstrupe), chiffchaff (gransanger) and the two in the videos. The first is garden warbler (hagesanger). I’ve only registered this species in the garden a couple of times before and never so late! In the second video is a willow warbler (løvsanger). I can’t remember hearing this species singing in autumn either before.
I love to get up early on Sunday mornings, in particular in the holidays as there are few vehicles on the road, no aircraft flying in to the airport, no trains, no strimmers, no lawnmowers or chain saws….just me and the birds! Yes to noise free Sundays (mornings at least)!
Fieldfares (gråtrost) only take fruit, whereas blackbirds and robins seem to largely ignore apples and eat other crumbs. They defend their apples against other fieldfares. I have currently one bird on each side of the garden.
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!