Thursday, 14 January 2010

Beautiful Birds (17): Round Redwing*

White Wigwam?

We were very inspired by the BBC Snow Watch programme last night to look out for something unusual in the snow. Well, we didn't have to look very far, as a Redwing came almost up to our back door, where there is some leafy (and snow-free) undergrowth at the foot of our Hydrangea bush.

Redwings may be quite common at this time of year, but it was a FIRST for us because we have not seen them in the garden before. When I blogged about the species a year ago (almost to the day), I posted a Redwing photograph, taken in the Mumbles area of Swansea by Mary Roberts - here. I love the distinctive white stripe on the head.

Matt Merritt of Polyolbion left the following informative comment on my post:
'They're pretty much Song Thrush sized.Very few breed in the UK, but large numbers arrive, along with Fieldfares (which are more like Mistle Thrush sized), from Scandinavia every winter. They're very fond of berry trees and windfall apples.'

I wonder what avian or 4-legged unexpected visitors have turned up in your garden...

Incidentally, while I am on the subject of wildlife, do take a look at Seabrooke's AMAZING résumé of her 2009 posts on The Marvelous in Nature from the wilds of eastern Ontario. Her photography is wonderful and her natural world stars are often extraordinary!

On the subject of snow, do remember to visit the new Polar Poets blog, hosted by Susan Richardson (from South Wales) and Siobhan Logan. Today's post is about Siobhan's fascination with and studies of the Northern Lights.

*And finally,
talking of Round Robins (quite a controversial blog topic in the run up to Christmas), my thanks go to the 'Snow Watch' team for explaining in basic scientific terms the reason why it is beneficial for a bird to fluff up its feathers in the cold, making itself look more rotund than normal...


Crafty Green Poet said...

I saw a redwing on the way to work the other day, which was a surprise. Loads in Princes Street gardens over Christmas though most of them have left now, to find trees that still have berries on them

steven said...

caroline i thought of you today when the bbc website posted an article on the extraordinary migrations of puffins - my favourite bird!! steven

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, CGP and Steven, for your comments. Just off to look for those BBC Puffins... really pleased to have the tip-off!