autumn migration, bird migration, birding, birdwatching, British birds, Fieldfare, Redwing, winter thrushes
The strong easterlies of the last three days, 19th to 21st inclusive, have seen a huge influx of winter thrushes arriving in Britain. The BTO’s Birdtrack blog reports that the reason for such a large arrival is undoubtedly to do with the weather but is also linked ‘to the almost total failure of rowan berries across Scandinavia, where large flocks have already been recorded further west and south than is usual for the time of year’.
Although that blog only mentions the arrivals on England’s east coast, we’ve also seen huge numbers streaming through here in south Wales. Though these thrushes are mostly nocturnal migrants, they often continue their flights for the first few morning hours, before finding somewhere to feed and roost for the rest of the day. During my local walks, particularly in the coastal fields and at Cosmeston, I’ve seen flocks of 50-100 birds constantly passing overhead.
The birds have been a mix of Redwings and Fieldfares but, yesterday, the majority were Fieldfare. Though they were all quite flighty – and a hunting Sparrowhawk kept unsettling the flocks, it was simply amazing to see so many of these beautiful birds. I hope to share better photos of both Fieldfares and Redwings in the coming months.
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