Thursday 9 November 2017

Garden visitors 2011-2017

Feeding place in my garden-2241.jpg

This is a chronologic list with photos of all 40 bird species having visited our garden on Kongsgårdmoen (Kongsberg, Norway) since we moved in, August 2011.Every single photo below has been taken in my garden.

If you click on any of the photos below, you'll open it in Flickr. Once on Flickr (on a computer), Click L for a larger view and Z to zoom in really close.

Wood Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) - Spettmeis
Wood Nuthatch (Northern) (Sitta europaea europaea)-1082
Canon 550D, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - 1/2000, f/5.6, ISO800, 300mm - Sept. 8, 2011

The upside-down bird was one of the first species to start visiting the feeding station I started September 2011, outside our house on Kongsgårdmoen (Kongsberg, Norway). It is also one of the most faithful of all visitors here. The photo is part of a large Flickr Wood Nuthatch album. Click the link for more.

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) - Blåmeis
Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)-1119
Canon 550D, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - 1/1000, f/5.6, ISO800, 220mm - Sept. 8, 2011

The Blue Tit is another very faithful visitor.  They've also been using my nest boxes every year.
I have a lot of Blue Tit photos on Flickr. Click the link for more. Click on thumbnails to enlarge.

Great Tit (Parus major) - Kjøttmeis
Ad. Great Tit (Parus major)-2144
Canon 550D, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - 1/250, f/7.1, ISO1600, 300mm - Sept. 28, 2011

As faithful as the Blue Tit and always nesting near the house every summer, often in a nest box. Their numbers have increased over the years. I also have lots of Great Tit photos on Flickr.

Common Magpie (Pica pica) - Skjære
Common Magpie (Pica pica)-0033
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/320, f/8, ISO1600, 439mm - Aug. 7, 2012

I may not see them in the garden every day, but I will at least see or hear them in the neighbourhood. If I feed with breadcrumbs or nuts on the ground, they will turn up in no time. Except for a few of juvenile birds, like the one above, they are quite shy. Unlike other birds they will react to any movement inside the house even through closed windows reflecting the outside.
Surprise! I also have lots of Magpie photos on Flickr.

Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) - Nøtteskrike
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius)-1458
Canon 550D, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - 1/320, f/8, ISO1600, 275mm - Sept. 28, 2011

Not a very regular visitor, but I've seen them here every year. The photo is part of a large Flickr Eurasian Jay album. For something really weird, check out my Eurasian Jay in heavy molt album!

Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) - Kjernebiter
Juv. Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) with father--3
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/400, f/8, ISO1600, 370mm - July 2, 2012

It was a moment to treasure when this adult male Hawfinch turned up in my garden with two fledglings and started feeding them with small pieces of nuts! The hawfinch returns every year but is not a very frequent visitor. Here is a link to my Hawfinch photos on Flickr.

White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) - Linerle
Juv. White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) + male adult-
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/400, f/8, ISO1600, 370mm - June 15, 2014

This is regular summer visitor. They are always nesting somewhere near the garden. The photo above shows a fledgling begging her father for food. Here is the link to my White Wagtail Flickr photos.

European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) - Grønnfink
European Greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) at my feeding place-6755
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/320, f/8, ISO1600, 500mm - June 28, 2012

No other birds have visited in higher numbers. The birds in the photo all seems to be juvenile.
No surprise then that I have a lot of European Greenfinch photos on Flickr.  I've also made a blog post on the European Greenfinch.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major major) - Flaggspett
Great Spotted Woodpecker (fem.)-1914
Canon 550D, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - 1/800, f/5, ISO1600, 160mm - Sept. 24, 2011

Another daily visitor. It has been a privilege to follow the fledglings grow into juveniles and adult birds and see the plumage change almost from day to day!
Here are all my Great Spotted Woodpecker photos on Flickr.

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) - Bjørkefink
Female Bramling (Fringilla montifringilla)--5
Canon 60D, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS - no data - Oct.12, 2012

The Brambling is a migratory bird and nests in the Norwegian mountains, but every spring and autumn they stop by here for a few weeks to build up their energy reserves on my neverending supply of Sunflower seeds. This female flew into my window and landed on the glass table on the terrace. She was dizzy enough to allow me to very close with my 17-70 Sigma lens. Since no one had kept the table clean this late in the year I had to do the job myself in Photoshop.  I didn't change the bird, only the table and the bird shadow. I have a lot of Brambling photos of on Flickr.

Willow Tit (Poecile montanus) - Granmeis
Willow Tit (borealis) (Poecile montanus borealis)-2506
Canon 550D, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 - 1/2000, f/5.6, ISO800, 210mm - Sept. 29, 2011

A not so frequent visitor, but I've seen it here in periods every year. It is a trustful little creature who always lets me know that I'm disturbing if I fill up the feeders while it is around with its hoarse voice. The photo is part of my large Willow Tit album on Flickr.

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) - Bokfink
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelabs) feeding offspring-6219
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/500, f/8, ISO1600, 500mm - June 25, 2012

Together with the Greenfinches, the Chaffinches have been the most faithful of the migratory birds coming to the garden. This little one tried to peel the sunflower seeds alone, but soon gave up and ended begging her father for food. Here is a link to my Chaffinch photos on Flickr.
I've also written a blog post on the species.

Coal Tit (Periparus ater) - Svartmeis
Coal Tit (Periparus ater)-0540
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/250, f/8, ISO1600, 500mm - August 31, 2012

Not the most frequent of visitors, but it turns up for a couple of weeks every now and then.
My feeding station is backlit most of the day, so sometimes I have tested out having a large reflector on one of the garden chairs to fill out the shadows a bit, as on the photo above. You can see it in the bird's eye if you click the photo above, and then click again when you see it on Flickr, to really zoom in. The photo is part of my Flickr Coal Tit album.

Eurasian Tree-Creeper (Certhia familiaris familiaris) - Trekryper
Eurasian Tree-Creeper (Certhia familiaris familiaris)-0443.jpg
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/50, f/8, ISO1600, 439mm - November 29, 2013

This has been maybe the most difficult bird to photograph in my garden, for at least 3 reasons:
     It has always been coming at dusk.
     The camouflage is extremely good.
     It has only been here a handful of times. Correction: I've only seen it a handful of time.
On the positive side: It isn't very shy. The photo is part of my Flickr Eurasian Tree-Creeper album.

Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) - Dompap
Eurasian Bullfinch( Pyrrhula pyrrhula), male-9497
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/400, f/5.6, ISO2500, 400mm - January 4, 2016

The Bullfinch is the Christmas Card bird #1 in Norway. It has been an occasional visitor every year, very often a male and a female coming together.
Here is a link to my Bullfinch photos on Flickr showing all my Bullfinch photos there.

During the last 4 months of 2011, I documented 15 different bird species in my garden.

Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus) - Grønnsisik
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)-0035
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/320, f/6.3, ISO1250, 400mm - January 14, 2016

This little feather ball is normally a migrant bird spending the winter far from Norway and looks half the size of what it did on this cold day. In 2016, with a mild winter, a small group often came for food in January. It is a regular summer visitor. Here are my Eurasian Siskin photos on Flickr.

Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) - Gråsisik
Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis flammea cabaret), male-0126
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/320, f/6.3, ISO2500, 400mm - January 21, 2016

January 2016 was an exceptionally good month for taking bird photos in the garden, probably because of the mild winter with little snow. The photo above shows, what ornithologists have told me, is a subspecies, a male Lesser Redpoll. I find it hard to see the difference of these subspecies, so I choose to count them all as Redpolls. The Redpolls have only been here for 3 short periods as I can remember. The photo is part of my Flickr Redpoll album.

European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) - Svarthvit fluesnapper
Male European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)-2580
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/250, f/8, ISO1600, 500mm - May 6, 2012

I have only been able to take photos of the Pied Flycatcher on one occasion - while it buzy was quarreling with a Blue Tit over a nesting box. The Blue Tit won, but since then I have made more nesting boxes, so there is enough for everyone. This link is to all my Pied Flycatcher photos on Flickr.

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) - Pilfink
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus), juv.-7485
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/400, f/5.6, ISO1000, 400mm - August 21, 2016

Since the local flock of Tree Sparrows discovered my feeding station in the Spring 2012, they have been regular visitors. They have even nested up under the roof of our house last summer.  Above is a very trustful little fledgling shot from only 3-4 meters distance. I have more Tree Sparrow photos on Flickr.

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Treptopelia decaocto) - Tyrkerdue
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Treptopelia decaocto decaocto)-4503
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/2500, f/8, ISO1600, 500mm - May 6, 2012

Do birds yawn? Could this one be choking on seeds? I find choking unlikely since the dove could only have eaten grass seeds where it was - and it looks OK on photos taken a little later.
These doves have been regular visitors in the garden, usually coming as pairs but sometimes in groups of 4-5 birds. The photo is part of my Flickr Eurasian Collared-Dove album.

Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) - Ringdue
Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus palumbus) nominate-0169
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/320, f/6.3, ISO500, 400mm - March 10, 2016

Greet the KING of our garden! The biggest bird ever to touch down here. Some friends here in Norway have free range hens in their gardens. We have wild Wood Pigeon.  I would NEVER trade. They are migrant birds in Norway, but sometimes come back very early. The photo is part of a Flickr Common Wood Pigeon album.

Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) - Svarttrost
BLACKEST OF BLACKBIRDS - juvenile Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula)-3050
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/80, f/5, ISO2500, 235mm - January 21, 2016

You don't get Blackbirds much darker than this juvenile male. He is eating Black Chokeberries outside our living room window. His plumage is adult, but he still lacks the yellow/orange color on the beak and the eye-ring. It is not the most frequent of visitors and has little interest in nuts or sunflower seeds. Still, as we get more fruit and berries in our garden, it comes more often. The photo is part of my Flickr Eurasian Blackbird album.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) - Spurvehauk
Juv.fem. Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)-2
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/160, f/8, ISO1600, 500mm - June 29, 2012

SHIT HAPPENS, even in private gardens. This juvenile female Sparrowhawk made life dangerous for the smaller guests in the garden in spring 2012.  Since then I haven't seen her. An adult male came for a period in the autumn the same year and once in 2016.
I have lots of Sparrowhawk photos on Flickr.

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) - Gulspurv
Adult male Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) in nuptial plumage-6521
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/200, f/8, ISO1600, 500mm - June 29, 2012

This is probably my all-time favorite garden bird photo. It shows a male Yellowhammer in full nuptial plumage. They usually drop by every spring and early summer for "fast food" for themselves and their offspring. I am afraid that last year (2016) may have been the last year since road construction nearby has destroyed much of the home range (territory?) of at least two visiting males. Still, I hope the concern is unfounded. I have quite a few Yellowhammer photos on Flickr.

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) - Gråtrost
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)-9710
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/400, f/5.6, ISO1600, 380mm - January 6, 2016

During the summer the Fieldfares hunt for earthworms in my lawn. Last January (2016) a few, like this 1st winter bird came for my Black Chokeberries. Lucky me! There is usually a group of them nesting within 100-200 meters from my house, every summer.
This link brings you to my Fieldfare album on Flickr.

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) - Stillits
European Goldfinch (nominate)(Carduelis carduelis carduelis)-0683
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/250, f/8, ISO1600, 439mm - December 8, 2013

I've only seen the Goldfinch a few times in the garden even though they in the nearby forest. We can hear the beautiful song of the males from the terrace on quiet summer evenings.
The photo is part of my European Goldfinch Flickr album, with photos also from mainland Spain, Mallorca and the Canary Islands.

Grey-faced Woodpecker (Picus canus) - Gråspett
Grey-faced Woodpecker (nominate)-1162-Edit
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/320, f/5.6, ISO1250, 400mm - November 6, 2017

This female bird shows up now and then happily eats fat-balls as well as nuts.  On the photo, she is trying to scare away a Great Spotted Woodpecker sitting on the nut-feeder. This is the newest photo in this blog post. The photo is part of my Grey-faced Woodpecker album on Flickr.

By the end of 2012, 12 new species had visited the garden. Total so far: 27 species of birds!

White-bellied Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica) - Låvesvale
White-bellied Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica), male-5620.jpg
Canon 60D, Sigma 150-500mm - 1/1250, f/8, ISO800, 500mm - July 12, 2013

A couple of White-bellied Barn Swallows, including the male above, built a nest in our garbage shed in 2013. They made it a thrilling experience to bring out the garbage since they accepted no visitors. Unfortunately, a cat raided the nest...
Although I only saw them in the garden in this period, they are quite common in Norway, so I have a lot of more photos in my White-bellied Barn Swallow album on Flickr.

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) - Rødstrupe
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)-2350
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/160, f/5.6, ISO1600, 400mm - October 16, 2016

Stops by a few times every year, but not a regular visitor. Since the males are very territorial there is usually only one visitor each time. I have a large European Robin album on Flickr which also includes photos of a Gran Canaria subspecies.

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) - Gråspurv
House Sparrows (Passer domesticus), female feeding offspring-3911
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/80, f/7.1, ISO800, 400mm - July 11, 2014

This is the first photo of House Sparrows from my garden I've ever posted -  even though they have been regular visitors every summer since 2013 (while they are nesting). The photo shows a female with two fledglings. I have more House Sparrow photos on Flickr.

Northern Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus) - Toppmeis
Northern Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus)-9926
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/640, f/5.6, ISO640, 400mm - August 22, 2017

A juvenile Crested Tit in 2013 visited once. That was all - until January 2017. Since then an adult couple has been regular visitors here. Like the Willow Tit, it is letting me know that it is there if I'm close to the feeding station. A really lively bird.  I have more Northern Crested Tit photos on Flickr.

4 new birds showed up in my garden in 2013. By the end of the year, the total was 31 species.

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) - Stær
Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), adult, nuptial plumage-2667 2661
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/500, f/5.6, ISO1600, 400mm - June 10, 2014

An adult Starling in full nuptial plumage! What a treat! That was what I thought those 2-3 days in June 2014 when the bird above showed up in my garden. The fact that the bird also brought a fledgling and fed it here only added to the experience.
Still, the Starling is quite common in Norway and I have quite a few Starling photos on Flickr, including fledglings.

Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis) - Trepiplerke
Tree Pipit (nominate)(Anthus trivialis trivialis)-4359
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/320, f/5.6, ISO320, 400mm - July 30, 2014

One visit, 30.07.2014. That is all I know of. I have a few more photos of the Tree Pipit on Flickr.

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) - Løvsanger
Willow Warbler (Northern)(Phylloscopus trochilus acredula)-9420
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/640, f/5.6, ISO1600, 400mm - August 9, 2017

This is the most numerous bird in Norway during the summer. Still very few people know and even fewer have seen it. It visits the garden now and then, searching hedges and trees for insects. The problem is to discover it. I have more, and much better photos of the Willow Warbler in a Flickr album.

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) - Munk
Male Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)-6411
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/100, f/7.1, ISO1600, 400mm - October 16, 2014

One visit, 16.10.2014. More Blackcap photos on Flickr, also from Spain.

4 new birds in 2014. Total number of species by the end of the year: 35.

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) - Sidensvans
Female Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)-9284
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/1600, f/7.1, ISO1000, 400mm - February 10, 2015

I first saw Bohemian Waxwings in our neighbourhood late 2013, but it wasn't until February 2015 that they discovered the Black Chokeberry hedges in our garden. A flock of 15-20 birds then used a couple of weeks to eat all the berries. There are lots of more photos in my Bohemian Waxwing Flickr album.

This was the only new bird in 2015. Total number of visitors by the end of the year: 36 species

Redwing (Turdus iliacus) - Rødvingetrost
Redwing (Turdus iliacus)-2859-Edit
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/160, f/5.6, ISO1600, 400mm - October 22, 2016

Like the Bohemian Waxwings, the Redwings came for the Black Chokeberries. They showed up late in October and stayed until there were no berries left.  More Redwings in my Flickr album.

Spotted Nutcracker / Eurasian Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes) - Nøttekråke
Spotted nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes)-4277
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/320, f/5.6, ISO1250, 400mm - December 16, 2016

The golden tone of the photo is due to the extremely low position of the sun at mid-December noon in Norway. It has visited twice, December 2016 and June 2017. Both times it stuffed the crop with nuts. It was incredible to see how much it could fit. More in my Spotted Nutcracker Flickr album.

2 new birds in 2016. Total number of visiting species: 38

Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) - Stjertmeis
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus), caudatus subspecies-
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/320, f/6.3, ISO800, 400mm - January 26, 2017

This is the Scandinavian Aegithalos caudatus caudatus subspecies of the Long-tailed Tit. It has a much brighter head than the europaeus subspecies in Central- and Southern Europe. I had been hoping for years to see this bird, and then a flock turned up in my garden! May they return!
My Long-tailed Tit album on Flickr has photos of both subspecies mentioned above.

Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) - Rødstjert
Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), male-8876
Canon 70D, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L USM IS - 1/640, f/6.3, ISO1000, 400mm - June 25, 2017

If this beautiful male spent 30 seconds in my garden in total, that was all. Lucky me to get a photo! Even though I've only seen the Redstart once in our garden, I also have several photos from Mallorca, Spain. My Flickr Redstart album contains both Common Restart and the eastern samamiscus subspecies.

So far there has been 2 new visitors in 2017.

Total number of bird species in my garden Nov. 12, 2017: 40!

Besides, I have had Mouse, Badger, Red Squirrels, Hare and Roe Deer visiting the garden. More about them later.

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