Web Site Cover Picture 341
11th January 2011
Mistle Thrush in a Yew Tree
During the winter months Red House is the destination for many migrating birds and among the most numerous of these are the flocks of fieldfares, redwings and mistle thrushes. The fieldfares are the most obvious as they flurry in across the fields to feast, first on the hawthorn berries, then the yew berries and finally they have a rather drunken party as they eat their way through the rotting apple windfalls. Wherever they are the redwings and mistle thrushes seem to be nearby joining in the party. This year the yew berry and apple crops have been vital to all these birds as the snow fell and the temperatures plummeted.
The picture shows a thrush about to tuck in to the yew berries outside Prince Rupert House on the Estate. They are the most entertaining of feeders as they devise methods of stripping the red flesh from the yew stone. This one chose to pluck the berry from the tree and toss it in the air before catching it in its beak.
Photo by Ian Hartley