Saturday 11 January 2014

The Fieldfares up the Hill

My first day off shift, and I slept in far too late to do Parkrun.

This is not a good thing. It means I have to do a longer run to make up for it, and so after enjoying the sight of chaffinches and blue tits in the trees outside my front door, I set off to run to Coddington and back.

It was a bright as anything day, the blue sky seeming to reach to the edge of the universe, and seagulls making the most of a reasonable breeze. Along Barnby Lane, blackbirds were munching berries in the hedges, but I haven't seen the kestrel on the flyover for a while. It used to be perched in the trees, presumably in between spells of hunting for food along the A1 verges.

After a hard run up  the back of Beacon Hill, I approached the field next to the converted windmill on the left and saw it was absolutely full of birds. A flock of at least 50, and perhaps over 100 fieldfares (with possibly the odd redwing thrown in) strutting brashly about the ground, and not at all fazed by my presence, unlike the ones on Clay Lane in the trees.

It's the biggest flock of these sturdy, attractive thrushes I've seen since they savaged the ornamental berry trees on Beacon Hill estate, in the harsh snows of two years ago. It takes bad weather to shift the winter thrushes into town, and so far this winter, it hasn't been cold enough.

On one hand this is a pity, because they are really striking birds to introduce to the general population out there. But on the other, if they are in town, it means my cycle rides to work are going to be a frozen, slippery nightmare!

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