Spring Redwings

April 11th 2015

Spring Redwings

We are all used to seeing good numbers of Redwings, a member of the Thrush family, come the autumn as they help Mistle Thrush and Fieldfare clear our rowan berries. The spring of 2015 however gave us an opportunity to watch these birds in large numbers, as they fed on ground invertebrates, prior to making the last leg of their spring migration.

There are two races of Redwing recognised Turdus Iliacus iliacus and T. i. coburni. The former migrating from Scandinavia and Siberia to western Europe and around the Mediterranean, Black and south Caspian seas while the latter moves between Iceland and the Faeroes to west Scotland, Ireland, western France and Iberia. It is most likely that the numerous recent records of flocks ranging from 20 to 50+ are of Icelandic/Faeroese birds returning to those islands to breed.

There are records of Redwings breeding in Assynt but as these birds do not have great site fidelity either for wintering or breeding such records are scarce.

These photos are of the same bird which was feeding at Culkein Drumbeg on 10 April 2015 and was ‘specialising’ in turning over sheep droppings to look for invertebrates.

David Haines

Redwing Culkein Drumbeg. Photos D. Haines
Redwing Culkein Drumbeg. Photos D. Haines

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