When on passage, Fieldfares migrate in large loose flocks and can be identified by their "shack shack" flight call. When seen on the ground, it is worth studying these spectacular Thrushes, their plumage is simply stunning, their grey heads and nape contrasts strongly with the brown mantle and pearl-grey rump and dark tail. The breast is a beautiful ochre and spotted black along with the flanks.
Although sometimes seen singly, Fieldfares are generally seen in varying sized flocks numbering in double figures and occasionally three or four figure numbers.
9th and 10th November.
The night of the 8th/9th November was starlit and at dawn it was very bright with a slight frost in sheltered spots.
It was evident at dawn that there had been an overnight arrival of Fieldfares on my patch with some decent sized flocks seen, however, as I was walking along the Watton road east of Great Cressingham, many Fieldfares were gathered in hedgerows and trees and once on the move towards the village it was evident that 500+ Fieldfares were present, a very impressive gathering. These birds stopped in a variety of habitats including the well-stocked hedgerows immediately east of Great Cressingham.
Mid to late afternoon on the 10th, I walked from the church at South Pickenham to Cockley Cley Warren. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon. Settingout from South Pickenham, I walked west along the footpath which passes a 'Stanton-type' world war 2 air-raid shelter, a reminder of the former bomber base at North Pickenham airfield.
At Cockley Cley warren, I was surprised to see that the former heath was now being used to cultivate arable crops. On the fields was 300+ Fieldfare wandering over the field in their search for food. Also seen here was a couple of Mistle Thrushes and in the roadside Scots Pines, Coal Tits were present.
The walk back to South Pickenham was better with the sun behind me. Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Linnets, Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, and Chaffinches were encountered along the path. With the setting sun, flocks of Chaffinches began arriving at their roost sites.
|Sparrowhawk Watton, Norfolk 10/11/13. A common Breckland species.|