You can tell winter’s here in my garden, not because of any frost or snow on the ground, or bizarrely because the cherry trees are in blossom. No, the presence of a single bird is indication enough.
Foraging and rummaging in the depths of the leaf litter at the foot of the garden was a lone Redwing. As the reliable Collins guide indicates, Redwing are winter visitors with only a few pairs breeding in the far north of Scotland. They fly to Britain to avoid the severe winters of Scandinavia and Poland where they breed and spend summer. So spotting one is a clear sign that winter is here or at the very least is in Poland.
This is the second winter running I’ve spotted them in the garden despite the RSPB’s website stating they “roam across the UK’s countryside, feeding in fields and hedgerows, rarely visiting gardens…” He or she, had obviously found something worth eating as he was digging away in the same spot for five minutes or so.
They are attractive birds, being basically a more glamorous thrush, with a red patch under the wing – hence the name – and a prominent white stripe above the eye. They are a welcome visitor, “Dzień dobry!”