Redwings and a buzzard

On my way to the garage to saw wood yesterday afternoon, I was delighted to see a redwing in my neighbour's oak tree. Apart from the pair I saw back in November, and one possible sighting near the bird feeder last week, I haven't seen any redwings in our garden this winter. Which is very unusual.

Redwings are always smaller than I remember, and have a slightly angular look to them somehow. I think it might be due to their cream-coloured eye-brows (or supercilia, to give them their proper name).

After a minute or so, I turned towards the garage. Whereupon a flock of about 50 redwings took off from our sycamore and flew away across the fields. How had I missed those?

Fifteen minutes later, as I was sawing wood, I heard rooks and jackdaws making a commotion outside. They were mobbing a buzzard. It flew low over the garden, pursued by its tormentors. It was only the second buzzard I've ever seen from our garden in the 11 years I've lived here. It isn't the crows that keeps them away. Buzzards are simply not tolerated by humans in grouse- and sheep-country, even though killing them is illegal.

After I'd finished sawing, I returned to my study to write. Gazing out the window for inspiration, I found myself eye-to-eye with yet another redwing perched in our fir tree. Of course, by the time I'd got my camera out, it had flown off. But I did manage to photograph three in the neighbour's oak tree.


I'm relieved to see some redwings at last. But I haven't seen any fieldfares this winter, which is very unusual around here.

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