Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 16 March 2015


In recent days I have seen several flocks of Fieldfares on the patch, this is typical of this time of year with these birds stopping off to feed in fields in order to fuel up for their return journey to Scandinavia.  Fieldfares may have wintered as far south as the Iberian Peninsula, as well as of course in the UK.
Fieldfare at Little Cressingham 16/03/15 (One of 100+ birds)
Fieldfares can be found at this time of year on large damp fields where they will feed upon worms etc., also, check fields of sheep and pigs where the ground is disturbed. 
A flock seen today at Little Cressingham numbered 100+ birds, a few Redwings accompanied their larger cousins, however, as the month of March draws on even larger numbers may be seen stopping off to refuel.  I have seen flocks of 400-500 Fieldfares passing through my patch in March.
Fieldfares themselves are strikingly beautiful birds to watch as they hop strongly over the ground in search for food, however, late March is the time to scrutinise these flocks more closely as another migrant Thrush, the stunning Ring Ouzel, will join Fieldfares on their journey north to their breeding grounds.  I have been lucky enough to find Ring Ouzels with Fieldfares on my patch in early spring.


  1. 'Tis most peculiar Paul....
    we've only seen a pair of Fieldfares this year...
    and not a single Redwing...
    normally they are around in their hundreds making life pretty unbearable for the local orchardeers.
    I wonder if the weather just hasn't been cold enough to drive them this far south??
    A Ring Ouzel is a bird I have never ever seen... and I have been to many well known spots up north...
    I think that they are there...
    but when they know I am coming....
    they get out the boot black!!

  2. Hi Tim
    As soon as I started reading your comment I thought to myself that the weather has not been cold enough to force them south......great minds think alike.
    Over the next two weeks or so that could be some very good numbers of Fieldfare passing through, I shall be checking for Ring Ouzel.......ensuring that they are not carrying boot black.
    Good numbers of Fieldfare may occur into April and my personal latest date was a single at Thompson Water on 1st May.