Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Birds on the move

The Big Freeze (or winter, as we used to call it) goes on, and as always the cold weather has brought some interesting bird movements.

We haven't done too badly in the East Mislands this past week. It's been very cold (-14C when I came out of the house yesterday morning), but we've only had a thin covering of snow, so perhaps we're getting refugees from the parts of the UK that have been badly affected.

On Sunday, there were Waxwings in the car-parks of both Lidl and Aldi in Coalville (they show a refreshing willingness to shop around), and there are still plenty of berries left in that area, and along the bypass, so they'll probably stay for a while yet.

The previous day, I popped round to my parents' house, and they had both Fieldfares and Redwings in the garden (a first), along with a Treecreeper. I think the latter - which was also a first - was probably tagging along with a mixed tit flock, and there were also good numbers of finches. These included quite a lot of Greenfinches, which have been conspicuous by their absence for the last couple of years.

Finally, on the way into work the last couple of days, I've seen really large numbers of Blackbirds feeding in a hedge alongside the A47 between Uppingham and Glaston (you have to slow right down because they keep doing their kamikaze dash just in front of the car). There's been a few Redwings and Fieldfares among them, too, but I'd guess this is an influx of Blackbirds from elsewhere in the UK, or the Continent.

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