Fieldfares

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Great flocks of fieldfares (Turdus pilaris, björktrast) are hanging around Boat Hill, feeding off the frozen parkland rowan berries instead of migrating. They’re so ruffled up against the cold that they’re hardly recognisable as the streamlined summer birds we’re used to. Their cousins the blackbirds sit alone like big black apples here and there in the leafless underbrush, waiting for the singing season.

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Comments

  1. #1 Thinker
    January 29, 2010

    … and we mammals who have not had the sense to either migrate or go into hibernation will have to emulate them: I will fluff up my down jacket a little extra, and make sure I find a use for the rowan berry jelly I have in my fridge. Perhaps it can accompany some deer, elk or reindeer meat during the weekend …

  2. #2 Eva Florén
    January 29, 2010

    … well, today we were out showling away the snow, I passed by a blackbird sitting in our wild trees, a mere thirty centimeters from my shoulder, it just followed me with its eyes, not moving an inch. They do everything to save energy now and digest the berries.

  3. #3 paddy
    January 29, 2010

    I trust you will do your hour of service counting birds tomorrow?

  4. #4 Martin R
    January 29, 2010

    Staring at chicks? Sure!

  5. #5 juanita
    January 31, 2010

    I have 1 fieldfare in my garden and he has been feeding on all the apples on the ground by himself for the past 3 weeks, no other fieldfare in sight. I live in Ringwood, Hampshire, UK and I have never seen one at such close distance and for such a long time. He is quite bold and scares away all the usual blackbird visitors to my garden by dive bombing them. I am wondering if he has become lost, can anyone please advise?

    Juanita

  6. #6 Kate
    January 31, 2010

    What a great picture. During the snowy cold snap in the UK a single fieldfare took up residence in my parents’ garden, eating apples my mum bought for it. It chased all the blackbirds away but didn’t seem to mind smaller birds. Once the snow had gone, it vanished.

  7. #7 Jonathan Jarrett
    January 31, 2010

    We got a big flock of fieldfares in my town last year, I’d never seen them before and spent some time arguing with my then-partner about what they were–I thought redwings, but I was wrong. They’ve not been back this year, though, so now I don’t know if it was last year that something went wrong for them or this year…

  8. #8 Martin R
    January 31, 2010

    The reason that they didn’t return was probably that they were really offended to have been called redwings.

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