Thursday, 12 December 2013

Birds back in the Botanical Garden

An increase in temperatures to a handful of plus degrees resulted in the Botanical Gardens again being full of birds. The remaining berry trees were acting as magnets and there were also many birds bathing and drinking in the small stream. THE berry tree didn’t hold any Two-barred Crossbills (and I couldn’t find them anywhere else) but it had up to three Hawfinches (kjernebiter), 20 Fieldfares (gråtrost), 20 Greenfinches (grønnfink), 3 Waxwings (sidensvans) plus the odd Blackbird (svarttrost) and Blue (blåmeis) and Great Tit (kjøttmeis). In total in the park there were at least 13 Hawfinches, 40 Fieldfares, 3 Chaffinches (bokfink), a male Common Crossbill (grankorsnebb) and an overflying Sparrowhawk (spurvehauk).

It was interesting to watch the different species feeding in the same tree. The finches were not interested in the flesh of the berries but would have the seeds in the middle whereas the waxwings and thrushes ate the whole berry. The thrushes were also often on the floor brushing aside the snow to find the discarded flesh of berries that litter the floor from the antics of the Two-barred Crossbills over the last few weeks. I was disappointed not to see the 2BCs but I must admit that Hawfinches and Waxwings are much smarter birds.

At the docks there were very few ducks but a Great Crested Grebe (toppdykker) was a good December record and the Peregrine (vandrefalk) was atop the hotel.

The favoured berry tree has been taken over by an even larger and smarter finch - Hawfinch (kjernebiter)

see here how it discards the flesh of the berry to get to the seeds

many  berries have been sliced open here

I'm not sure whether Waxwings (sidensvans) are even smarter

no messing around with the berries here - the whole berry is eaten and the seeds later discarded out the back end

the only Crossbill today was this male Common (grankorsnebb). There is much debate in the UK regarding the ID of a wing barred Crossbill. Notice here how Common Crossbills have very plain coloured uppertail coverts (merging with the rump) whereas Two-barred Crossbills have black uppertail coverts with white fringes.

many birds including these Fieldfares (gråtrost) were bathing and drinking from the small stream in the gardens

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