Monday, 16 December 2013


There is no other way to describe today than NASTY. The temperature has risen to +8C and with heavy rain this morning the snow has started melting big time but not before all paths and pavements become ice rinks. It didn’t get light enough to read a road sign until after 9am and became as dark again before 3pm and it wasn’t until noon that it was anything like acceptable light. My only outing today was to see how things were in the Botanical Gardens. Yet again, a new day and new weather conditions resulted in a complete change in the bird scene. Gone were concentrations of Hawfinches (kjernebiter) and Fieldfares (gråtroster) and even tits were hard to come by. Three Chaffinches (bokfink) were still finding enough sustenance and after not being present when I arrived, the three remaining Two Barred Crossbills (båndkorsnebb) appeared in their favoured tree and fed high up for a good 40 minutes before an alarm calling Blackbird scared them off. With it being so wet they did not need to drink during the time I was watching them and all the time stayed high in the tree and mostly silent. The three birds keep very close to each other and do so far more than I have experienced with other finches – quite why this is I am not so sure but perhaps they are aware that they are long from their own ‘hood and that they need to watch each others backs.

Yesterday we had 10 Bullfinches (dompap) in the garden both eating sunflower seeds and also eating seeds from a sycamore like tree we have. This is as far as I can remember a record garden count. I have seen pictures from Sweden of both Two-barred and Common Crossbills eating sunflower seeds so maybe the bullfinches will attract some of their distant cousins into the garden.

I took some pictures today but the light forced me to use 6400 ISO at F6.3 and at best a shutter speed of 1/200 sec.
the remaining male using his tail for balance as the branch was moving quite a lot in the wind

the greyer female looking even greyer in the poor light today

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