Wednesday, 16 December 2009


It may not be that big a deal elsewhere, but I've seen Redwings in Margravine Cemetery for 4 days now. Considering I'd never seen more than 1 individual at a time before, and that I'd never found them again the next day, it is a big deal to me.
I was busy on Sunday with cooking and baking and didn't intend to go out check the birds. But I needed more baking supplies and a quick trip to Chiswick had to be done. On my way to the tube, I thought I'd check the shrubs I'd been keeping an eye on the past few weeks as it was totally covered with berries. So far all I'd seen there were woodpigeons, blackbirds and chaffinches but this time there were this shapes in the foliage at the top, too big for chaffinch, too small for blackbird, so I got my small bins out: redwings, 2, maybe 3 of them! And they were still there when I came back an hour or so later, but by then the light was pretty bad and the cemetery was going to close.
So, bright and early on Monday morning, I was out in the cemetery. It wasn't too bright yet, hence the photos below are not the best quality, especially as they're flighty little buggers and I couldn't get too close. I initially spotted 1 or 2 on the shrub and then turned left: there were at least a dozen on the ground by the memorial wall!

Yum, juicy earthworm! If there is one thing Margravine Cemetery is rich of, it is earthworms, which is probably why there are always lots of blackbirds around, but also why there is a lot of this pretty much every where:

I wish the redwings were a bit less shy, more like this individual, which, even though it wouldn't let me get too close, at least it is in the middle outer reaches, which give much nicer photos

than this, high up in the canopy against a white sky...

But beggars can't be choosers I guess...
On Tuesday, I didn't have much time, but managed to spot 7 of them around the shrub. Today, however, I took a bit more time at the beginning of the afternoon, in the 'snowstorm'. No sooner had I spotted a few on the ground that they took off, leaf-blowing was starting and the guy was getting close. I followed them from tree to tree and counted up to 19 in 1 and 2 in another at one end of the cemetery. Got my camera out of my bag, but by the time I had it out, a small tractor was entering the cemetery and they took flight, back to where we came. So I followed, spotting 22 Goldfinch in a birch (I think) on the way. Relocated a few in the shrub, but then the leaf-blower arrived under there and they took off again... This time, I went back home.


  1. I have a particular soft spot for Redwings, and I'm not entirely sure why. Very rarely see them round here either - I'm sure they're there, just hiding. Have heard quite a few going over the house once it's dark though.

  2. I'm asleep once it's dark enough...
    Only chance for a whiz through this morning on way to shop, but saw at least 10, mostly on the ground with starlings. Looked like 1 was trying to steal a worm from a young blackbird who was having none of it.
    I can see how one can have a soft spot for them, I'm goona get one myself if these stay any longer...

  3. They're still there! Saw them yesterday, couldn't work out what they were, looked up on the rspb site and then found your page!

  4. They're still here indeed. I mentioned them again in a recent post, when they were about to have been around for 2 months. Counted 37 of them in one tree by the Barons Court entrance today. It's been such a nice sight for the winter, even if they're a bit on the shy side...