Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sunday 8th. January 2012

A return to the grey skies after yesterday's brighter weather was to be expected I suppose . Having completed my third day of hedgelaying for the week yesterday , my tools were badly in need of sharpening and maintenance . So most of the morning was spent doing just that , with brief visits to the bottom of the garden every now and again when the harsh 'chak-chak' of Fieldfare was heard . There were only half a dozen birds around , but very nervous , staying well up in tall trees and only coming down to next door's Cotoneaster berries for a quick 'smash and grab' . The only shot I
managed was when one was high in a Sycamore , against that grey sky . More photogenic was a
female Blackbird that stayed to have her fill before too flying off . A few Redwings were also seen overflying the garden , so once the tools were finished , I had a quick look around the local 'berries' , which found zero , lots of plump berries , no Winter Thrushes . Whilst driving along the bottom lane , I saw a large flock of birds , too far off to make out the species , above the trees , high on the Common , so that was where I headed . At the bottom , some of the Holly trees that were laden with berries last visit , were half stripped and some completely stripped , but there were still plenty of food around . As I walked up to the high ground I could hear the sound of large numbers of Redwings high in the big Oaks , and along the way was the continual sound of berries dropping from the Hollies above the path . Reaching the heathland at the top , I found where all the noise was coming from , with almost every tree holding good numbers of Redwings . Once one bird saw me , they all took off , and with so many birds swirling around , the wing noise was incredible as they passed
overhead . Just this one area of tree top held 30+ birds and a conservative estimate , which wasn't easy with the constant movement was 250+ . The best single bird shot was this one , but
photographing into that grey background did not make things easy , and I had to lighten the shot to get any detail . With lunch approaching , I headed home , and just checked the garden once more , finding no Winter Thrushes , probably due to 3 Rose Ringed Parakeets having taken over the
Cotoneaster for their lunch .


Marc Heath said...

There don't appear to be the number of Thrushes this winter, I assume the mild weather has not pushed them all across from the continent. A close view of a fieldfare though is a lovely sight.

Rob said...

A busy week on the hedges, Greenie. What kind of stones do you use for sharpening?

Redwing and Fieldfare - a classic combo.

Warren Baker said...

Greenie, maybe those Redwings are new arrivals ? Maybe some hope that the continent is cooling down and or running out of berries, maybe i'll get a few more here :-)

Alan Pavey said...

Good to hear about some good numbers of thrushes Greenie, very impressive count :-)