Friday, 8 January 2010
Due to the snow we have been treated to the sight of a small flock of redwings and fieldfares around our garden. These colouful thrush-cousins first came yesterday to the tall walnut trees behind our back fence but have now discovered the heavily berry-laden bushes across the road. I have spent much of this afternoon with my binoculars trained on my neighbour's front lawn and I do hope that she does not think I am spying! It is a joy to be able to see some unusual birds close up from the comfort of my own kitchen. The crowd of birds is around ten to fifteen strong and it is delightful to see them pull the orange and red treats from the branches and swallow them whole. Seeing them together it is very easy to tell the difference: fieldfares are noticeably larger and have much grumpier faces, they also lack the red patch which gives their companions their name. I would like to try to tempt them into our own, berry-free garden and the field-guide I have suggests they are fond of 'windfall apples'. Not having any windfalls, I fear that it may be a bit of waste to throw out the fresh, supermarket variety, and not very popular with my budget conscious husband or my fruit-eating son. Perhaps I will just go fill the bird-bath with water and put out some bread-crusts and sunflower seeds.