The other day I went for a walk in the park near my office – Sunny Hill Park in Hendon – for my lunch break, not an unusual event in itself.
What was unusual was one of my sightings in the park – a Fieldfare, no less. I have been on the lookout for these all winter but had been out of luck so far. The severe weather that we had until last week gave me hope as these birds usually only wander into urban areas when they have to in order to find food, but so far I hadn’t seen any this winter.
And then … there it was, perched in a tree next to the path, pecking away at some berries. I had to look twice, and without the aid of binoculars. At first I assumed it was a Song Thrush, but there was something not quite right about that deduction. I ruled out a Redwing because, well, there was no visible red patch on the flank and no clear white strip over the eye. Stepping a few yards along, I got a better look at the head. Yup, I thought, that’s grey. So is the rump for that matter. And the tail is dark. Could it be … well, there’s no-one else around to confirm it. But I’m confident in my judgement here. Fieldfare!
And then off he flew. And I walked off with a spring in my step.
Other sightings in the park included Starlings, Robins (plenty of these), Great Tits, Carrion Crows (plenty of them too) and gulls of the Herring and Black-headed varieties.