Glorious forecast coinciding with day off... where to go, the world is my oyster... "PB, I've booked you in for your covid booster and flu jabs just after lunchtime tomorrow" said Mrs PB... so much for the world being my oyster... the county may be!! (I had been thinking of Slimbridge to use my WWT birthday present, because they had recent Mandarin sightings, and from what I've read, they should be resplendant at this time of year!
However, the jabs were important, and I'm sure there'll be another sunny day!! A winter thrush hunt along the Trailway seemed the best option with the time constraints, and who knows, the Barn Owls may be out...
The good thing about this time of year is still being able to lie in until 6.30am, and still be somewhere for sunrise at 7:45, even if the moon didn't realise it should have gone to bed
As I walked down the farm track toward the Trailway proper rustling caught my ear.... A Song Thrush
There was a constant flitting and twittering and a mixed flock of tits and sparrows moved between the bushes and a feeder put in one of the farm cottage gardens
A lot of tutting alerted me to a Wren that resolutely didn't want to look at me... eventually, amongst the frosted leaves....
The sun was rising now, and spreading a gorgeous light, illuminating everything magically... there were several small groups of gulls flying over, throughout the morning
One of my targets...this Winter's first Redwing
Don't worry, there are better pics later!! It then became a bit of a Finch-fest, with a large mixed flock leading me along the Trailway, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, and a Bullfinch (a bit later)
A Robin interloper that I couldn't resist
Told you there was better!
Along with groups of 3 or 4 gulls, various corvids were doing the same, Rooks in this case
Guessing this is a Greenfinch, but don't know what the thick eyebrow is...."trendy" possibly lol
Four for one!
What I want to know is, how birds can sit on a branch, and almost invariable get a bud, or a twig, or a leaf between them and me?! And also, why they fly off if I', within about 30 yards of them?
I think we now have a Mistle Thrush
I promised a Goldfinch....
Something I've not seen before, a Buzzard in a field, looking for (I guess) worms
I loitered for about 10 minutes, but I didn't see it have any luck, and by then my feet were going numb (proper walking socks added to Christmas list!) so I meandered on, and spied Mrs Bully
I was just thinking it was odd I'd not seen a Dunnock, when as if by magic...
On the path itself numerous Robins, Chaffinches and Blackbirds scuffled about, this dark beaked (migrator?) Blackbird was insistent that the berry would fit
And then my other target.... the first Fieldfare of the winter
I saw many fewer Fieldfare than Redwing, as I also did last year, so I guess that is the norm
The tits were still flitting along
And the moon was still in evidence, but not sure what the gull is, white wing tip suggests Common
Not sure if someone had trouble with their Halloween toffee apple, or if this is sap or a fungus? (Something in the back of my mind is nagging about insect activity of some sort?)
A less camouflaged Dunnock
A suitably grumpy looking Redwing...their normal demeanour I think lol
Something caught his attention!
Two or three Lollipops fizzed about above my head, but only this shot wasn't too dark, obscured by bits of tree or just simply missing the bird!
The light was a bit stronger now, lacking that gorgeous dawn orangeyness
There were some Black Headed Gulls, disturbed by a dog walker
And then a final Redwing, which stuck to the unwritten Redwing rule of....DON'T GO INTO THE SUN SHINE....THE SHADE IS YOUR FRIEND" Hmmpphhh
And so concluded a chilly but lovely walk, fabulous to see the winter thrushes back again, and I hope the blue sky and sunshine brightened up your day :o)
Stay Safe All (I'm all jabbed up!!)
In reply to Robbo:
Only "might" Robbo? I've improved then
In reply to PimperneBloke:
PimperneBloke said:Only "might" Robbo? I've improved then
Only "might" Robbo? I've improved then
I am picking up my first pair of glasses on Monday…….
Lot to learn
In reply to gaynorsl:
Got to admit I've not been keen on the arrowhead method, not least because people (not just you) have been known to use it and not be right. What is and isn't looking like an arrowhead? Mistle usually appear whiter fronted, esp when flying and also esp in the top half. Song tend to be browner, incl the area from bill down to chest. Head of mistle is paler. Side of chest often has a dark blob. Face more marked. Wings are longer. Tale paler. Mistle bigger as you know, but not usually obvious in photos. 'Arrowheads' on song can merge into lines lower down the sides. There's 'circumstantial' evidence like behaviour which can tilt likelihood one way or another when out and about. e.g habitat. A google search is likely to throw up wrong i.d. so comparing photos online can be risky.
Hey Robbo, I think this is the first time I've put 2 images of thrushes side by side... doesn't help that one is in shadow, and a closer image. In the post I labelled them song (top) and mistle (bottom)
Having just spent a bit more time with my WildGuides book, I'm now going to change the 2nd to a song thrush and the first to a "I'm still not bleedin' sure and I'm never going to name one again" thrush
Thanks for you patience with me
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
Accepting all non-essential cookies helps us to personalise your experience
These cookies are required for basic web functions
Allow us to collect anonymised performance data
Allow us to personalise your experience