David of Rambling by Nature (there doesn't seem to be a way of leaving a comment on his blog, it just suggests entry by Twitter) lives somewhere between the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Wolds - both very beautiful areas here in Yorkshire. He speaks of wonderful wildlife there but says he still hasn't seen any Fieldfares yet.
When the farmer came in at lunchtime he said our fields here on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales were full of fieldfares this morning. They were not after the hawthorn berries - indeed there are none left to forage for, they have eaten them all, or dropped them on the grass, where they do not seem to go down and pick them up. No, these fieldfares were all in the grass and seemed to be searching for grubs of some sort.
Fieldfares are in the Thrush family of birds and visit us here on the farm every Winter, where they seem such wild birds. And yet we have sat on a bench in a park in Norway and thrown crumbs from our sandwiches to a fieldfare pecking around our feet. How differently they seemed to behave there.
We get such pleasure from the birds which visit our bird table and I am afraid we spend an awful lot of money on bird food. But we justify it by saying that we don't go out all that often so we pay to watch the birds instead. What do we feed them?
All of the tit family love the fat balls, the sunflower hearts and the coconut (we buy one and the farmer saws it in half and hangs it in the rowan tree). The robin adores the meal worms. The woodpeckers love peanuts, mixed seed and the coconut. The greenfinches love niger seed. The blackbird loves a hunk of old cheese on the table itself. All the other birds eat a variety of things and many of them - chaffinches in particular - prefer to be ground eaters, as do the collared doves. We get a large number of pheasants and the farmer scatters corn for them to eat.
Harsh weather - maybe even snow showers - is forecast for the weekend. Who knows what we shall get in then. It is always exciting to watch and wait.