Species Of The Week Number 14: Fieldfare and Redwing

We mostly think of bird migration in terms of summer visitors to the UK such as Swallow, Cuckoo or the warblers that come here from Africa or southern Europe to breed. However it also works the other way round - with birds from Scandinavia and Russia making their way to the UK to enjoy our relatively warm winters.

The most numerous of these are Redwing and Fieldfare, both members of the thrush family, which fly over the North Sea once their crops of local Rowan berries have run out. Having made landfall on the east coast they spread out all over the country and we have flocks of these attractive birds in the Meanwood Valley at the moment.

Redwings are by far the most numerous - I counted a flock of 68 down in a tree by the farm last week. Both species feast on our berries - including Holly, Hawthorn and Rowan - but also feed on the ground when it is not frozen.

The slightly larger Fieldfare is less numerous in Meanwood, although nearly 1 million of them visit the UK every winter. In some years they like it so much that a pair decides to stay and breed somewhere, although this is very unusual.

Take a winter walk around Sugarwell Hill and you've a good chance of seeing them flying around in loose flocks, or feasting on those winter berries.

Publicado el 29 de diciembre de 2022 por clunym clunym


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