Monday, December 15, 2014

Leave Your Apples for the Fieldfares

I planted 1200 trees to create a woodland on what was a bare hillside behind my gallery in 2006. This wildlife haven is really coming into its own now. It has attracted so many new bird species to feed from the berries and insects there and to nest in the branches. 

Among the trees I planted were some apple trees. I tend to leave the windfall apples on the ground for the birds but recently I've also begun to put a few out in my front garden for the fieldfares. 

These colourful members of the thrush family are mainly seasonal visitors and their arrival from Scandinavia is an indicator of the onset of winter.They eat worms and berries such as hawthorns, but during very cold frosts they will venture into gardens where they are partial to fruit.

I like the touch of colour and cheerful chattering noise they bring to the garden at this time of year and painted the above picture after watching a flock feeding on apples I left out for them.

The woodland is also planted with cotoneaster bushes which tend to berry later in the season, providing another supply of food for the fieldfares.

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