Monday, November 17, 2008

This season's colour is .... red

The leaves are really thinning now, although the lichen crusted oaks are holding on longer than most.
The hawthorns have a great crop of berries this year, and in the last week or two the winter thrushes have poured in to make the most of it. Mainly along the coastal strips at the moment, but flocks in the tens or even hundreds are being reported. I nipped out for a couple of hours, hoping to break my jinx with these birds, down to Blackrock (where I haven't been for a couple of years, even though it's only 10 minutes. All the dog guano put me off last time - it was like one of those South Sea islands where you could mine the stuff!).
Watching where I trod I soon found some fieldfare, but not near enough for snaps. Good value though, bouncing around the fields and then flying off with that chack-chack call.
Further along I eventually managed to find somewhere I could tuck in and see what came along. I did get some half decent views of redwing feeding on the hawthorn, but the usual hawthorn problem of 'twigs in the way' meant the shots were iffy. I still haven't found a way to catch them nearby - or better still at ground level like the ones Chris Grady found in a snow bound orchard a couple of years ago. Probably worth taking some screening to hide behind. Still it was better than cleaning out the gutters.
Hopefully our berries might last long enough for some of those east coast waxwings to get even this far down this year.

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