Up on the mountain road yesterday, between Bridgend and Maesteg, I came across six fieldfares and a redwing, a little further on and a small group of mistle thrushes were feeding in the short grass.
From the early Books
The winter thrushes wereÂ particularly impressive and the fieldfares really looked smart. In the light of some ideas about presenting some of the bird photography I’ve done over the years I’ve begun to place some words of related species from some early bird books I’ve been collecting. The final pieces will include the text along side the bird as one piece. Here I’m just quoting from some of the texts.
The gregarious “Felt” or “Blueback” frequents open country and is nomadic, its movements regulated by food supply ; so long as the weather is mild and insect food abundant a flock will remain day after day in the same fields, but during frost it wanders so soon as the berries are devoured in one district.
The Birds of the British Isles and Their Eggs – T. A. Coward. Published 1920
These birds used to be largely sought after by the Romans as an article of diet ; and even now large numbers are sometimes seen in our own markets. The Felt, as this bird is popularly called, offers very good sport ; during mild weather they congregate in flocks in meadows, flying away at the least alarm ; but when snow is on the ground they betake themselves to hawthorn bushes to feed on the berries. It is while they are thus employed, that large bags are made by sportsmen who lie in hiding and shoot the birds while they are feeding. During a very cold winter I knew of a labourer who, while thus lying in ambush, would each day shoot numbers of these birds, and lived on them to some extent during the cold weather.
In Birdland With Field Glass and Camera – Oliver Pike. Published 1900
Tastes like chicken !
On a serious note , they seem to have stayed around longer this year , i suppose flying north or east was not the best plan due to the weather.
Just come back from Herefordshire and good numbers still around!