December 1st- redwings and fieldfares by the Holbeck.

The weather has turned cold and bright. There is an absolute feast of colour out there on days such as this. As vegetation dries and withers, russets and ochres line the Holbeck contrasting beautifully with cerulean blue skies. There were a few afternoon showers yesterday from dramatic clouds lit by a low sun that shone so bright in the clear cold air.

Redwings and fieldfares were clamoring in the hedgerows. The supply of berries will dwindle rapidly in the next week or so, until they will move on, especially if the weather remains cold. It was a day to spend really appreciating these common but beautiful Scandinavian thrushes. I made some studies of fieldfares in the tree tops. They were very sleek as they contemplated moving on, disturbed by a large female sparrowhawk; quite the opposite of the fluffed up fieldfares seen in gardens in freezing conditions.

A redwing gave superb views; again I use the scope to see it well from a distance, this frees up my hands to sketch. I manage to record much of the bird’s shape and features in pencil, adding colour as fast a possible before it flies. As I watch them and really take in their beauty I briefly cast my mind back exactly six months, thinking of swifts and house martins settling down to breed in Gilling East; not wishing them here, but being struck by the contrasts of the natural year.

2 thoughts on “December 1st- redwings and fieldfares by the Holbeck.”

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