I have managed to get two photographs of Fielfares.
Fieldfares are from the Thrush family.
Usually they stay in fields in the countryside. This harsh winter seems to have brought a lot of fieldfares into gardens and given people an opportunity to see them close up and also help them survive by putting bird food out.
As I’ve said before this winter their food has been locked under snow and ice. If you looked around the countryside when it was at its coldest you wouldn’t see many green fields (if any). The ground is frozen solid.
Fieldfares often stay in flocks
They arrive in October and overwinter here. Some Fieldfares come from Scandinavia and are winter visitors and migrate to Britain in October / November. These Scandinavian Fieldfares don’t nest here. Other fieldfares are European fieldfares
First, I’d like to say that providing an open, soft patch of lawn or soil is a good way to feed birds. Also in freezing weather (NOT, of course, when there is snow on the ground) I sometimes put hot water on a small open area of grass /soil. This softens the soil. I always get birds pecking at the soil. It means they can at least try and get to the worms!
Fieldfares eat animals and plants – so they eat worms or berries and fruit.
If you put out some apple or pears, or any fruit it is best to cut up small first. Then they can easily carry / eat the food. If the fruit is large they may drop it when they fly off with it. Among the berries they eat are Pyracantha berries off bushes and hawthorn berries.
I’ve also heard that they have been seen eating ground blend bird food.
Gardens can be a life saver for birds. To survive they have to go in search of food – and have found food in our gardens . So the extreme weather conditions have driven them to our gardens and our food. Bird feeding does work and help birds survive the winter.
I know we have had flocks of fieldfares in the fields near us at certain times. When birds are far away and flocking together it’s hard to see what bird they are. But certainly flocks of birds wheeling overhear in the skies are a part of the English Countryside.
PS Idid not take these photographs. Photographs from istockphoto