WILDLIFE: Winter thrushes arriving in good numbers
During the cold, snowy weather there was the expected influx of the two main winter thrushes, the fieldfare and the redwing.
These have appeared in good numbers in suburban parks like Graves Park close to where I live. At one point there was a flock of maybe twenty to thirty birds foraging amongst leaf litter under beech trees and under shrubbery areas. In nearby Moss Valley there were flocks in sheltered, warm location of a south-facing slope with mature woodland of oak and beech trees. Again the redwings were busily turning over leaves and other debris presumably in search of beech-nuts and insects or other invertebrates that might be exposed.
In my wildlife garden we have had up to ten blackbirds all at once; quite remarkable for a very territorial bird. Essentially, the numbers are mostly European birds over-wintering and so not yet on their breeding territories. The locally breeding residents however are not keen on the intrusion into their patch and expend time and energy on chasing their rivals around the contested space.
Choice foods including fallen apples, berry bushes, and fat-ball feeders; and in the winter cold these are worth defending.