Sunday, 12 May 2013


The Norwegian language has many regional dialects and going from Oslo to Hardanderfjord this weekend we, in addition to the human language, also experienced avian dialects. I have heard differences in Redwing (rødvingetrost) song before but this weekend it was Chaffinch (bokfink) dialects I was able to experience. When I heard the first Chaffinch I thought there was justsomething odd about him but when I realised all the local Chaffinches sounded the same I understood it was a local dialect. It was the beginning of the song which was noticeably different to the birds around Oslo with these birds having a less varied melody. For different dialects to develop amongst birds that are summer migrants to norway suggests that they are distinct populations perhaps with different wintering areas and migration routes.

Driving home the thaw had noticeably advanced and there was flooding in a lot of the rivers. There were also far fewer waterfowl on lakes where we had seen many only four days previously as they were now able to move a step closer to their mountain breeding grounds.

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