Winter has arrived in these parts with belated flourish, with frequent snow showers providing a spectacular backdrop to redwings which continue to visit berry-bearing trees and shrubs in the garden.
A redwing eyes up cotoneaster berries
Although the BTO
recently published figures which showed that garden birds have been scarcer than usual in gardens this winter (see news for February 21st
), I am happy to report that over the last few weeks, I've seen redwings (Turdus iliacus
) in my garden more frequently that at any other time in my eight years or so in this house. They have been concentrating their attention on the berries of a tree cotoneaster (Cotoneaster frigidus
) some way down my garden. There have been, at times, six or more redwings taking these berries, together with blackbirds (Turdus merula
), the occasional mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus
) and innumerable smaller songbirds. It's no wonder that nearly all the berries from this formerly heavily laden tree have now gone. One particularly brave redwing (a species which I find, in general, to be quite shy and 'flighty') has over the last couple of days approached the house quite closely, tempted by the berries of a pyracantha, enabling me to get better photographs than usual.