Friday, 31 October 2008

Rambling after Redwing

Yesterday 8am I set off in search of redwing around Withnell Fold nature reserve and scrapes and all I found were stripped hawthorns.... But I did spot a kingfisher hurtling down the Leeds-Liverpool canal - you never know what you're going to find.

This morning I explored Bagganley Lane and Healey Lodges. First up was an electric blue kingfisher poised on a branch over Black Brook - stunning colours in the sunlight.

Next, flocks overhead - and a chance to practise identifying them in flight. I think I've got it now: fieldfare have black tails and pale rumps from the back, pale underwings from the side. Redwing - more difficult - generally have a pale belly. Hmm need more practise with these.

And then walking the path back from the lodges to the car - flocks sooo close! Redwing flitting in the hawthorns, pale eye patched giving them away. And fieldfare at the top of the ash, the sun blending their heads and backs with the grey/brown bark, and their buff chests the same colour as ash keys. What a stunning morning.

Now, back to the redwing. How do you identify flocks in flight?
Photos of kingfisher and redwing are by Mike Atkinson. See link from this page. Well worth a visit.


Crafty Green Poet said...

I love kingfishers, I'm always amazed how many there are round Edinburgh. Plus saw one in the Bridgewater canal in Manchester, totally unexpected.

Redwings, i can recognise the way they run but flying is more difficult. They do have red under the wings, but its never as obvious as you expect it to be...

Mistlethrush said...

By the way they run? Tell me more.... Please!

The Weaver of Grass said...

They flock together here, Carol. The redwings are slightly smaller than the fieldfares and they don't have that white rump. I love the big flocks we get here - hips and haws disappear like magic once they arrive.

Dave King said...

I always enjoy your posts. This one I particularly appreciated.

Susan Richardson said...

I love the description of the kingfisher 'hurtling'. Like Crafty Green Poet, I love kingfishers but sadly haven't seen one in a while.

Mistlethrush said...

Thanks for the comments all of you.

I always feel like I've been given a gift when I see a kingfisher. I suppose the secret to seeing them is knowing where they frequent and having some luck....

The one I saw in the post was a complete surprise as I've not known of them being recorded there - must go again!

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.