Redwings Return

October 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

At long last Redwings are now eagerly devouring the wealth of hawthorne and rowan berries that are ripening for them this Autumn. It has to be one of the best Autumns ever for berries and in particular the hawthorns are hanging heavy with them but as yet no Fieldfares have arrived, despite weeks of favourable easterly winds.
During a lifetime involved with wildlife I had an experience in the last week that must be unique. I was making a routine check of a hollow in the hills that on previous days held up to fifty Redwings, all gorging themselves on the masses of Hawthorne berries. A first view of the main Hawthorne bush did not reveal any Redwings only a larger bird deep in the cover. As I approached closer this bird flew towards me and  it was a large female Sparrowhawk. Remarkably it was followed closely by two male Sparrowhawks ,who all flew off in different directions!! Only then did thirty odd Redwings leave the dense ground cover, some calling as they scattered widely. As Sparrowhawks normally hunt on their own were these three adult birds hunting Redwings co-operatively? – This has never been recorded before. Click here