Fieldfare – Turdus pilaris – a member of the thrush family.
When Fieldfares visited Alvaston Derby I was ready with my camera.
On 22nd January 2013 Fieldfares visited Alvaston Derby where I saw them. First I saw them in my garden and later in my friend’s across the road in the same street. Fieldfares migrate to England in winter from northern Europe but this was my first sighting of them. It was a bad winter in early 2013 So I’m sure they came looking for food.
What a wonderful experience. I wish I had taken a photo. I looked out of my lounge window and a young goldfinch was resting on my patio within 0.5m of the window. It didn’t attempt to fly off so I went outside. I knelt down on the ground and got within 0.5m of it. It was trying to sleep with its head resting over its back. Its wings were neatly folded so I thought it looked OK and not damaged.
For some while I have been using a white rectangular butcher’s meat tray as a bird bath during freezing winter months and dry summer months when birds need access to fresh water. It has rested either on the ground, or on a garden seat, or on top of a large Victorian plant pot when the summer flowers have died back. The stark whiteness of the tray and the depth of water (10cm) have, I think, put birds off. The only ones I have seen using it have been occasional blackbirds. Also I feel they need it near the ground but not actually on it.
There was plenty of Northumberland wildlife – Red Squirrel included – near Doxford Cottages this May (2012). I have seen the following within 6m of my living room: Brown Rat, Red Squirrel, male & female Great Spotted Woodpecker, male & female Chaffinch, male Robin, Blue tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Green-finch, Nuthatch, Wood Pigeon, Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Sparrow, male & female Pheasant, male Blackbird.
All these creatures have been attracted by a peanut feeder, wild bird seed feeder and a squirrel feeding box. The birds, and brown rat, that can’t feed from the bird feeders (and those that can) have been attracted by the fallout from the feeders on the ground beneath.
I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have goldfinches feeding in my garden regularly now I have erected a nyjer seed feeder. See this one in my feature image.
A friend across the road has goldfinches feeding regularly but I never have. Why? They never had anything to feed on in my garden. So I bought this expensive feeder, which holds fine nyjer seeds, from the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) together with some seed.
Most of the pictures here were taken on our first visit to Market Bosworth in 2012.
We have retuned several times since and will continue to do so because it is such a charming English town in the county of Leicestershire. You can see its relative location on the maps below, surrounded by Loughborough, Leicester, Hinckley, Nuneaton, Tamworth, Ashby-de-la-Zouch and Coalville: Continue reading “Visiting Market Bosworth”
“An old Congolese tribal legend tells that man and bonobo used to live side by side in the forests of the Congo – but went their separate ways after humans invented fire. Bonobos, the legends say, were able to make fire, but unlike the humans always put their fires out and moved on. Humans wanted to keep their fires going and so they ended up staying in villages while bonobos continued to live in the forests.”
Does this legend go back to the dawn of humankind?
Update 16th April 2014
Tonight I have seen a program on BBC1 television called ‘Monkey Planet’. This discussed the intelligence of many of the primates and showed film of their abilities. If you reside in the UK you can look out for the program on BBC iPlayer in the next few days.
One article actually showed Kanzi, the Bonobo chimp who was the subject of the Telegraph’s article, actually lighting a fire and cooking marshmallows during a picnic.
If you can’t get to see it at the BBC then watch Kanzi cook his marshmallow below: