Thursday, 6 February 2014

Black-throated thrush

On the way back form Finnmark, I got the exciting news of a Black-throated thrush (Svartstrupetrost) in Bergen, western Norway. The bird was visiting a feeder in a garden, but there was one problem. The garden is impossible to see from any public road or from the outside. However, this proved not to be a major problem at all, since the owner happened to have a big interest in birds herself. She was happy to invite me inside in her living room, and before I even had finished the stairs up to the second floor, the thrush was seen jumping around on the lawn competing with the local Blackbirds (svartroster). It was a second year female, and this is only the second time in my life I see this species. As my first one back in 2006 was a male, I have never seen a female before. Needless to say, and thanks to Ellen Sophie's amazing hospitality, this turned out to be a very nice experience indeed. The bird was jumping only a few meters outside the window and I got some frame filling views! And the bird was a "walk away bird" - meaning I left the bird while it still was visible.

Black-throated thrush is a taiga species, and breeds from the Ural mountains and eastwards. It is, as far as I know 30 previous records in Norway, so this was the first Big Year rarity!

As my flight was a bit early, I also had time to visit the local park in the city center. In between drug addicts and busy students hurrying to school, I managed to tick off Hawfinch (Kjernebiter).

On the way home, I was unfortunate to miss the airport buss by a few meters. Reason: the buss left two minutes before schedule. The buss company, of course refuse to admit any fault as expected. Because of this mishappening I missed my flight back home and had to order a new flight ticket which of course wasn't cheap. Ups and downs are the nature of the Big Year life style, and you only have money to spend them - right?

The bird made the news as well - an article with video in Bergens Tidene about the happening and some of my pictures was for a long time on the front page of their web: Black-throated thrush in media

It even made it to the local radio in Bergen.

A big thank you to my friend Frode Falkenberg, that took his time to drive me around in Bergen, and arrange the visit to Ellen Sophie, so that Black-throated thrush safely could be ticked on my Big Year list!

The day before I left to Bergen, I got to squezze in a visit in Trondheim to see a flock of Tundra bean geese (Sædgås, ua rossicus). This make my total Big Year list to 107.

New species: 3
Total: 108


  1. It's very interesting to read your blog, and congratulations with the Black-throated thrush! I guess we have seen the same male in 2006!
    Good luck with your search!

    Astrid Kvendbø

  2. Hi Astrid,
    Thanks for following! It is indeed a fun and interesting year so far, and I hope I manage to share at least some fo those nice experiences here on the blog. Yes, you are right - we saw the same bird in 2006 :)