It was the second week of November 2008 that I first noticed large numbers of redwings in National Park Zuid Kennemerland, so I was on the lookout for them about the same time in 2009. I didn’t see any at all the whole of November or December and wondered why. However on my trips out during January I saw huge numbers – many hundreds along with thrushes, field fare and blackbirds. Not in the place I had seen them the previous winter in the undergrowth under trees but in a vast sea of sea buckthorn. I saw them in the same place on several trips and noticed that if they were on the ground it was where the Highland cattle had walked through and kicked up the snow and exposed leaf litter and grass underneath. They seem nervy birds and as soon as I approached or watched for too long they just alighted en masse further in the bushes.
Today I went back and not one redwing was to be seen, just blackbirds and the sea buckthorn bushes were stripped of fruit – they had moved on.
Later though I heard a lots of chirping and there were the redwings in the place I had seen them last year, and they had cleared huge areas of snow between them under trees. They were there digging and foraging, the more I looked the more I saw and the ground sort of rippled with them.
The picture shows some of the ground they cleared under trees but this is just a fraction and there are so many birds in that area but they are perfectly camouflaged you will just have to take my word for it!