Fieldfares and redwings: two rare visitors to my garden both arrived at once this morning - the excitement was almost too much for me! They arrived together in a small flock with several individuals of each species.
It's a fieldfare - honest!
I've seen redwings (Turdus iliacus
) in the garden once before; that was eight years ago during our first winter in this house. I had hoped that they would be a regular winter feature, but I've never seen them here again until today. As for the fieldfare (Turdus pilaris
), this morning's visit was the first I've seen in this garden.
Both these species are 'nomadic' in their winter movements and generally only come into gardens in the most severe winter weather (as we are having at the moment), looking for food as the fields and hedgerows they generally inhabit become less accessible. These birds are well known for feeding on berries in the garden at times like these and that's exactly what they were doing in mine this morning. Both were taking the Cotoneaster
berries which are normally the preserve of our garden mistle thrushes (Turdus viscivorus
) and blackbirds (Turdus merula
I can now proudly say that my garden supports all five species of our native thrushes. They are all beautiful birds to look at but the redwing and fieldfare look particularly good to me at the moment!