Friday, 8 January 2010

Friday at the Flicks: Fieldfare, Feeding in the Snow

As the large flock of Fieldfare stayed around all yesterday devouring the windfall apples just across the lane from me I managed to take some video of them. Although the camera was outside it didn't pick up much of the constant chatter of so many birds in one place.

Apart from one day of clear roads and paths we have had snow around for about three weeks now. We haven't had the large falls seen by many but every time it starts to thaw we get another inch or so to top up the levels.

Noise levels in the garden can be very loud with Sparrows constantly chattering, Starlings squabbling and now Blackbirds constantly tutting and clucking at each other.

Snow or no snow, freeze or baking Sun the job of finding enough food has to go on for the visiting birds. Here a Blue Tit seems to have to work really hard to chip off pieces from a frozen fat ball. It is not speeded up - the poor bird was really working at this speed.

A Blackbird seemed to be leaping in the air to get more power to its beak as it struggled to pick up seed frozen in the grass.

Nothing stops Starlings in their quest for food, not even a heavy downfall of snow.

I am beginning to wonder how much longer my stock of seed will last and when it will be an easy drive to pick up some more as there seems to be less salt being used on the main street through the village. At least temperatures have been around zero or just above so the water I put out each morning doesn't freeze over very quickly.


  1. Lovely selection of clips John.
    The 'tutting' Blackbird; does make you wonder what they're saying at times.
    And your so right about the Starlings. They find food somehow, whatever the weather. Very resourceful birds.

  2. Thank you Keith. I'm sure the tutting is annoyance as we get that most most morning walks when we get close to any Blackbirds. Makes me smile the way the tail seems to be joined to the voice.
    Starlings are definitely survivors in the bird world and don't miss any opportunity to eat.

  3. Hi there John, how fantastic that you were able to see and film a group of Fieldfares… just brilliant!! Great to see the pics too :-D

    Oh day… I understand your pending problem. Bird seed stocks have been a problem for me here too for almost two weeks. I can’t get round to where I usually get my larger bags of sunflower hearts. Fortunately, before Christmas, I had picked a large (12.5kg) bag of peanuts which have been invaluable. The House sparrows will take them from seed feeders too. I have put them through my food processor, picked up small bags of mixed seed (which I don’t usually use) and sunflower hearts if I could get them from a supermarket and any bag I’ve had in the shed including dried mealworms. I put all this and grated cheese (end bits) dried mixed fruit in a box and mixed it up. It’s a make do for the moment but its going down a treat! At -9.5C just after 9am there is no point at all in me putting out water :-(

    BTW Great to see you’ve had a visitor at your nestbox… is that your new one? Wishing you a warm weekend :-D

  4. Hello Shirl. It was a real thrill to see them. I have never seen such a large flock of anything before.

    I may end up ordering some seed next week as conditions don't look as though they are going to improve in the near future. That sounds like a good all round mixture you are making. I have some cheese in the freezer which I don't like so I must get that out and mix it in.

    I have had that nest box for nearly two years. It's the one they started a nest in and then abandoned last Spring. Maybe better luck this year.

    At least the temperature gets above freezing here. I hope you have a nice cosy home to go with that lovely garden.

  5. what a lot of activity in your garden! I enjoyed the videos very much. Hope you warm up soon.

  6. Hello Wilma. There is a lot of activity during this long spell of bad weather. I hope we warm up soon as well. Snow is nice to look at for a few days but we are not used to it hanging around for weeks.

  7. The birds must really appreciate all those calories to keep warm in this weather. Perhaps that will give me a good excuse too!

  8. Fascinating flicks, John ~ Your recent postings have inspired yet another poem and picture. I have posted the poem on my website, and include it as a link below. I have not posted the picture on my site however, without your approval :)

  9. Lovely poem again Glo. No problem about the brilliant picture - go head and use it. I don't think Bobby will be too amused by the idea of having to work for his food but I think it's a great idea ;)

  10. Of course it is a good excuse, Matron. In these conditions we need lots of extra calories to replace those we burn off keeping warm.

  11. John, I'm out of bird food but mallard and pigeons had the last. It's dog eat dog out there. Or bird do your best. Have feral pigeons drinking from the snow melt on the van roof as I write this. Common because they are survivors.

  12. As the cold wind got up this afternoon the birds got more and more frantic to get food.
    Funny you should say about the pigeon drinking the snow melt - this afternoon I watched two Sparrows and a Chaffinch on the shed roof and they were all eating the soft snow even though there are two dishes of water for them. Probably tastes better than tap water!


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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