Category Archives: Birds

Balcony fieldfare

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!

Whooper Swans in Malvikbukta

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).

Map showing locations in my area with over 100 whooper swans; I mostly commonly see birds presumably moving between the main overwintering areas

Fuglevennlige planter

English: A series of 3 articles written for Birdlife Norway’s magazine “Vår Fuglefauna”

Jeg har bestandig vært opptatt av å dyrke mat på en naturvennlig måte. Som unge vegetarianere i Norge tidlig på 1980-tallet var det livsnødvendig å kunne dyrke egen mat. Men, et av hovedgrunnene til at vi kjøpte nettopp dette stedet i Malvik var at det vokste vill hassel (Corylus avellana) her, et sikkert tegn til et rikt fuglemangfold (det var også 20-30 fuglekasser hengt opp i trærne og bygningene)! Siden starten av Corona-epidemien fikk jeg mye mer tid hjemme og den tiden har jeg brukt til å dokumentere det enorme mangfoldet av andre livsformer som finnes her (har god oversikt over fuglelivet), særlig insekter, som jeg lever sammen med i Den Spiselige Hagen hvor jeg har samlet et tilsvarende mangfold av spiselige planter fra hele verden i en skyggefull skoghage.
Det at jeg hadde blogget en god del om alternativ mat for fuglene som vi kan lett dyrke selv var utgangspunktet for at jeg ble spurt om å skrive en serie artikler om dette til medlemsbladet til Birdlife Norge (tidligere Norsk Ornitologisk Forening). Artiklene ble publisert i 2021/2022 og kan lastes ned nedenfor.
For å lære mer om fuglevennlige planter bli gjerne KVANN medlem (https://kvann.no/bli-med) og meld deg inn i lauget for Insekt- og fuglevennlige planter (gratis for medlemmene) – det blir tilbud på frø av noen av plantene som nevnes i artikkelen!
Jeg har så langt registrert 108 fugle- og 446 virvelløse dyrearter fra og i Den Spiselige Hagen (Naustanbergan i Artsobservasjoner), samt 11 pattedyr…og siden jeg er en integrert del av dette økosystemet et av dem er Homo sapiens😊

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Waxwings on apples

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!

 

Robin joined me for breakfast

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…



Don’t cut those nettles, share them with wildlife

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!

Fall of thrushes

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…