Thursday, March 17, 2011

Murmuration of Redwings

March is an odd month. Spring is kicking off, with dog violets in our garden, Blackthorn blossom starting to bust through, Robins are picking moss off our conservatory roof and the Blue Tits were fighting with Dunnocks outside our bedroom window this morning. And of course, the frogs are going hell for leather to produce as much spawn as possible.
Spring birding is just about picking up, but it is a time to grind out some hard-earned ticks for the year list, rather than picking up sexy migrants.
One little treat which I particularly enjoyed on my cycle in to work this morning was something we get reasonably regularly in these parts. The Redwings start to get a little spirit of spring fever and, before returning to the continent to breed, find it hard to resist practising a spot of singing.
They gather in flocks near the tops of trees and all start to ramble off in crazy mixed song at once, sounding more like Starlings than how thrushes ought to sound. I love it.

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