1 or 2 fieldfares (gråtrost) normally overwinter in the garden and this winter has been no exception. They appear in autumn attracted to the cultivated and wild fruit. Fallen apples then become most important as the winter progresses. When the first deep snow arrives, I help them by putting out a few apples that makes it easier for them. The birds are very territorial, defending their cache of apples quite aggressively against other fieldfares. I put out apples in two parts of the garden which has lead to two birds overwintering. They are quite shy and have good vision, so only slight movement in windows puts them up. I’ve gradually moved the apples closer to the house and yesterday I put some apples on my balcony only a couple of metres from where I work….to my surprise, it wasn’t long before a bird found them and I made this video today!
Every couple of years, whooper swans (sangsvane) stop in the bay, usually just for a few hours, once for a couple of weeks in march/april 2010. I see them most frequently flying over, moving between their main overwintering locations around the Trondheimsfjord (see the map showing observations of over 100 birds).
English: A series of 3 articles written for Birdlife Norway’s magazine “Vår Fuglefauna”
Waxwings (sidensvans) have arrived here in numbers with about 70 in the garden today! Most of their favourite berry, rowan (rogn) had gone by the time they arrived due to the large flocks of thrushes that were here a week ago (mainly fieldfares, redwings and blackbirds / gråtrost, rødvingetrost og svarttrost). They had opened up quite a few apples near the tops of the trees before they moved on, and now the waxwings are enjoying them – they luckily don’t try to open other apples, so that there are still many for us! We’ve been harvesting the last few days, but still a lot near the tops of the trees that are difficult to reach even with the apple picker!
The latest avian visitor to my indoors forest garden, also known as my living room (as it’s full of life!) is this young robin, maybe the same bird which regularly comes right up to me when I’m sat outside…
No, not my son Robin (he arrives tomorrow).
Robins (rødstrupe) have over the years I’ve lived here changed from a shy forest bird to the tame inquisitive bird I was familiar with in the UK before movimg to Norway. This morning a young bird joined me at the breakfast table for a preen, stretch and scratch before resuming catching insects…
We may know that some of are most spectacular butterflies like red admiral (admiral), painted lady (tistelsommerfugl), comma (hvit C), small tortoiseshell (neslesommerfugl) and peacock (dagpåfugløye) may lay their eggs on nettles (Urtica), but did you know that just here in Norway there are 51 species of moths that do the same and two of the most beautiful were in the garden this morning:
1. The burnished brass / mindre båndmetallfly (Diachrysia stenochrysis)
2. The small magpie / nesleengmott (Anania hortulata)
So, please keep a patch of nettles in the garden all summer (you can still eat the young shoots)…there are also several birds such as bullfinches (dompap) and finches such as brambling (bjørkefink) that eat the seed in winter!
Every few years I see a shelduck (gravand) feeding in the field below the house. This one was captured on film at 6 am on 18th May 2023!
I noticed a single crane in the field on the other side of the bay this morning, the closest I’ve seen one, but still too far for a decent picture!
Thousands of thrushes, mainly redwings and fieldfares (rødvingetrost og gråtrost) arrived back in this part of Norway over the last couple of weeks and local breeders are already established in their territories. Both species breed right up to the tree line where there’s still a lot of snow and will forage for food on agricultural land until the snow disappears, mainly on higher ground. However, there’s been significant snow falls higher up and the snow line has moved back into the lowlands as is common at this time of year. Many of the new arrivals are then pressed down and concentrated on a narrow strip of lower ground near the fjord where there is only a sprinkling of snow which will disappear again during the day. This happened today and a large flock of very talkative birds arrived in the garden and some, mainly, redwings can be heard singing at the start and then many of the fieldfares take to flight in the second segment…