Winter wonders


Redwing, Chesterfield Canal

Our mild weather continues, but many of our winter visitors are still here in numbers.  In one of our blogs we reported we had seen fieldfares gathered in a field last year around March time ready to leave, and this year we watched them arrive.

Recently I’ve still seen and heard them at various locations, but mixed in with them is one of our favourite thrushes.  This blog is about this gorgeous bird: the redwing.  It’s the first time in ages that we’ve seen them in such significant numbers.


As we await the first summer visitors in March and April (the first swallow, chiffchaff, willow warbler and not to forget, the illusive cuckoo!), we have found redwings in a woodland area down the Chesterfield Canal.  It’s been hard to locate, and it’s taken a week to get the pictures.


These birds are unmistakable, with their creamy buff eye stripe, moustached streak on either side of cheek, and of course the characteristic red flanks and underwing which give the birds their name.

High in the canopy I heard them calling to each other: a high pitched “see -eep” sound.  This winter visitor favours woodland, open fields, grassland, and may sometimes visit gardens in severe weather.  Across from the woodland a tractor was ploughing the field, and it was interesting to see the redwings and fieldfares leave the trees for a visit to the freshly ploughed fields.


This pretty, colourful bird has made another birding week a very exciting and successful one.  Let us know if you’ve seen one this year!  Every year we have a little competition between ourselves on who will see the first swallow, swift, etc.., so do let us know when you see them.  Alison heard a chiffchaff last week!


During the autumn migration you can often hear them at night, flying overhead.  Too late for this now – they’ll be getting ready to go back and won’t be around much longer.

Hope you find the redwing as eyecatching as we do.





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