I heard a magpie “singing” this morning outside the front door. It has been desribed as a low-pitched, slightly chirping giggle and is in my experience most often heard on cold winter days. Indeed song has been recorded in January in Finnmark (the northernmost county of Norway) in an air temperature of -36C! Unfortunately, the magpie discovered me as soon as I started filming and there’s only a very short snatch at the beginning.
2013 was sadly the last time I saw a hedgehog here (see the last picture here)…and there are only 3 reported observations since 2013 in the whole of Malvik Kommune, all found dead (killed in traffic), the last in 2017. There’s still a small population in Trondheim, so there’s a chance they will return. The population collapsed in the 2000s and it’s thought they were impacted by a virus, but many are also killed on roads and lack of habitat (too tidy gardens). As it’s never properly dark here in summer we have been able to photograph them at night and about 3 times have followed courtship and mating! Below are a number of pictures of hedgehogs in the garden over the years. The first shows mating in the garden in the 1990s (from a slide):
Courtship display on 13th May 2006:
July 2006 by the outhouse door camouflaged sitting on a fibre mat!
5th May 2007
After emerging from hibernation, 15th April 2011:
Road casualty (2nd July 2011):
Magpie (skjære) with dead young hedgehog on the neighbour’s deck.
Hedgehog and ground elder (25th July 2012)
This hedgehog seemed to be hunting a worm or similar and was totally oblivious to my presence allowing this series of pictures to be taken on 1st May 2013:
Yesterday, a magpie (a young bird I think) decided to visit our living room (aka indoor forest garden) and had to be shown the way out again….making it 3 species of bird I’ve recorded indoors (great tit / kjøttmeis and a feral pigeon / bydue) being the others. Now it decided to have a bath in rain water containers right in front of us!!! They are normally rather shy birds.
I was walking through the garden yesterday towards the office at the Ringve in Trondheim and I heard a lot of noise coming from a group of conifers, magpies (skjære) excited about something. I walked around the trees to see if I could see what it was only to meet a couple of birders with long telephoto lenses! A tawny owl (kattugle), not something you see often in the garden. There are 3 reports of this species from Ringve, all in February during the last 10 years!
I always dreamed of working in a botanical garden and somehow my wish has come true only 7 months after retiring from job as an ocean wave climatologist!
Even better, I can come and go as I wish (more or less)…I now have an office where I will be able to document and tend (in summer) my onion garden, as visiting researcher :)
…and the staff are lovely people too :)
090118: Wren foraging and joined by a second bird120118: It’s quite a few years I’ve seen two-barred crossbill (båndkorsnebb), but then I’ve never deliberately sought them out at Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim which, because of its collection of conifers, is one of the best places to see this species, the less common of the 3 crossbills here…only one female with a single common or parrot crossbill…
090118: Wrens (gjerdesmett):
120118: What are these redpolls (gråsisik) feeding on?: