Our winter visiting Redwings arrived the latest ever this year. These migrant thrushes usually arrive late October and into November sweeping in in huge noisy flocks. They are very obvious arrivals but this year they have been more stealthy. They just crept in during December with the first appearing in our garden on December 11th. One or two Redwings at a time dropped in to lunch on the berries we grow for them, the Cotoneasters, Crab Apples and Sorbus. They soon discovered that one problem with arriving at the restaurant late is that some of the items on the menu have all gone. The resident Mistle Thrushes moving in from the woods had already indulged on the Sorbus berries and our Blackbird population had made inroads into the crop of “Butterball” Crab Apples and started dining on the Cotoneaster bushes. You can see from these photos that they were taken during heavy rain! It didn’t stop the birds from feeding though!
One male Redwing seems to dominate, being larger and sporting much brighter markings. His eye stripes are striking and his speckled chest is covered in the blackest and biggest streaks and spots. He is featured in the final two photos of the set below.
One thing we noticed as the berries started getting in short supply was that some House Sparrows mixed in with the Blackbirds and Redwings to gorge on the berries.
We still haven’t seen any Fieldfares this winter. These winter migrant thrushes usually arrive with the Redwings. There will certainly be few berries left for them when they do come!