I was in the garden this morning and heard the contact call of the (European) redwing (rødvingetrost), described as a thin, drawn and sharp “sreee”. It’s always a joy to hear the first one each spring. 10th April is the average arrival time here, so this is right on schedule. A little later I heard a snatch of song too. With snow on the ground this morning redwings that had arrived before northerly winds set in were forced down to near the fjord where there’s less snow. I made a little video of one bird close to the house before the flock (6 birds) flew off.
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…
I am so fortunate every year to hear the song of the curlew (storspove) singing in the bay from early April and through most of the summer, sometimes overhead too. Sadly, there are no lapwings (vipe) any more, but at least one pair of curlew is here. But, there are no definite breeding records from the whole of Malvik kommune ever (no young birds, eggs or nests observed)..so where do they breed?
This video is from 4:40 this morning! You can also here both great tit (kjøttmeis) and redwing (rødvingetrost)
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….
Redwing (rødvingetrost) is a bird that seems to have become more common in winter here. I’ve recorded this species 4 of the last 10 winters here. I never saw it in winter the 30 winters before that!
Unusually large numbers of thrushes, mainly fieldfare (gråtrost), redwings (rødvingetrost) and a few blackbirds (svarttrost) in the garden at the moment, mainly on the rowans (wild and planted for the birds) and apples (need to harvest earlier than normal this year).
This year is a bumper year for rowans near the fjord, but poor a little inland due probably to frosts which didn’t affect us! Late frost at the time of fruit flowering iis very unusual where I am near the fjord (due to a combination of warmth from the fjord and the fact that there isn’t night at this time!). This has concentrated thrushes near the fjord where the food is!
- Blackbird on apples
2. Redwing and fieldfares on rowan
3. Fieldfare on rowan (this tree was more or less stripped of berries during the day)
Large flocks of noisy (in the positive sense) thrushes in the garden this morning. A flock of a 100 or so fieldfares (gråtrost) and a few redwings (rødvingetrost), song heard again today, were feeding on rowan berries, most of the birds lifting at the end of this video. At the same time there was visible migration happening. I counted a continuous stream of some 200 birds in 10 minutes moving westwards! A few waxwings (sidensvans) have also arrived. Yes, rowans are a must have in the garden although I don’t use them much myself.
Cool autumn weather stimulates several species of bird to sing in autumn, giving a feeling that spring is in the air for us as well! This morning it was about +3C and with a thick woolly jumper I ate breakfast in the garden and I was sung to first by a wren (gjerdesmett) and then a large group of noisy thrushes landed, mostly fieldfares (gråtrost), but a few Eurasian redwings (rødvingetrost) were also present and at least one can be heard singing in this clip!
A distant redwing (rødvingetrost) in full song today (high volume required)!
I remember whilst still living in Scotland hoping to hear redwing singing in June in North West Scotland on a summer cycle ride around the coast of Scotland. They are red listed in the UK because of the small breeding population, but just over the North Sea here in Norway they are everywhere. Scottish breeding seems to be declining (climate change?), less common now than when I was there!
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.
Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden