Thursday, December 30, 2010

Find the berries, find the birds

When Kay decided to have a kip for an hour on Christmas day (full of cold and knackered after coughing all night) I did what any newlywed would do. I took advantage of the one sunny day forecast for the holiday period and headed out in search of some berries. I knew the rowans on the industrial estate had been stripped, but some brief visits to the garden from redwings and a fieldfare led me to look again at what other berries might be around. After driving round the Severnbridge estate for a bit I saw some small thrushes fly into some bushes. No idea what the shrub was, but it had small black berries and the redwings were tucking in. After a while it clouded over so I had another explore. the pavements were lethal with ice under the snow, but under a hawthorn largely stripped of berries some redwings and a fieldfare were eating the fallen fruit. They were pretty twitchy, but snapping from the car one relaxed enough to chase a lively berry almost under the wheels.
2 days later (now apparently known as 'Next sale day') I tried again, despite the crummy weather. Nothing at the previous sites, but I followed a few redwing flying into a small car park and found some pyracanthas, redwings and, to my surprise, a greenfinch. At first I thought it was on the berries, but then realised it was discarding the pulp and eating the seeds, bullfinch style.
Heading for home I found a patch where the snow was already retreating, with a flock of winter thrushes rooting amongst the leaves. Again the car was needed, and the fieldfares stayed out of view but in time some redwing came along. My 1DIII is having a new mirror box (?) fitted so all I had was the 400D - not the best in low light, and nasty pictures at more than ISO 200, but I did get a few just about sharp shots.

Some more of all on the web album.

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