fieldfare



fieldfare defined in 1930 year

fieldfare - Fieldfare;
fieldfare - Head, nape, and lower part of the back dark ash-grey; upper part of the back and wing-coverts chestnut-brown; a white line above the eye; chin and throat yellow streaked with black; breast reddish brown spotted with black; belly, flanks, and lower tail- coverts white, the last two spotted with greyish brown; under wing- coverts white. Length, ten inches.

In size and colouring, more especially in the spotted under parts, the fieldfare comes near enough to the missel-thrush to be sometimes confounded with it. Thus, flocks of missel-thrushes seen in autumn are sometimes mistaken for fieldfares that have come at an exceptionally early date to warn the inhabitants of these islands that the winter will be a severe one. The fieldfare is slightly less in size than the missel-thrush, and has a more variegated plumage, and when seen close at hand is a handsome bird.

He is one of the latest winter visitors to arrive, seldom appearing before the end of October. The return migration takes place at the end of April, or later; flocks of fieldfares have been known to remain in this country to the end of May, and even to the first week in June. Like the redwing, he is gregarious all the year round; in his summer home in the Norwegian forests he exists in communities, and the nests are built near each other. The migration is usually performed by night, and the harsh cries of the travellers may be heard in the dark sky, on the east coasts of England and Scotland, at the end of October, and in November. From the time of their arrival until they leave us they are seen in flocks of twenty or thirty to several hundreds of individuals. They do not, like the redwings, attach themselves to certain localities, but wander incessantly from place to place, ranging over the entire area of Great Britain and Ireland. Owing to this vagrancy, the fieldfare is an extremely familiar bird to the countryman, and invariably its first appearance, and harsh yet joyous clamour, as of jays screaming and magpies chattering in concert, call up a sudden image of winter - cold, brief days and a snow-whitened earth, and memories of that early period in life when the great seasonal changes impress the mind so deeply.

In open weather the fieldfares seek their food in meadows and pastures, also in the fields. Unlike the missel-thrushes, that move about in all directions 'over the ground, the fieldfares when feeding all move in the same direction. In like manner, when the flock repairs to a tree, the birds on their perches are all seen facing one way - a very pretty spectacle. When their feeding-grounds are frozen, or covered with snow, they go to the hedges and devour the hips and haws, and any other wild fruit that remains un- gathered; if severe weather continues, they take their departure to more southern lands. Their flight is strong, easy, and slightly undulating, and before settling to feed the flock often wheels gracefully about over the field for some time.

The song of the fieldfare, described by Seebohm as a ' wild desultory warble,' uttered on the wing, is not known to us in this country - it is a song of summer and of love; but in genial weather, when the birds are faring well, they often burst out into a concert of agreeable sounds just after alighting in a tree.

In the evening when settling to roost they are extremely noisy like most thrushes, and their cries may be heard until dark.

near fieldfare in Knolik


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