Monday, 5 November 2012
Winter thrushes - grey and orange
If you see a flock of thrushes eating rowan berries or fallen apples, look out for grey headed fieldfares, and redwings with a rusty orange flash of colour under their wings.
Both species of birds spend summer in northern Europe - Scandinavia and Russia, but when winter comes they move south and are quite common in Britain.
Fieldfares are quite big for thrushes with very spotty fronts and a rusty tinge on their chests. They look rather smart with their grey heads and rumps, black tails and brown backs.
Redwings are smaller, shyer and a bit more homely with streaky spots on their tums and white stripes above and below their eyes.
When they fly off, the rusty orange under their wings is surprisingly bright and is what gives them their name, whereas the fieldfare has white 'armpits'.