Hundreds of migrating fieldfares and redwings on island

Fieldfare by John Dickenson Fieldfares are colourful members of the thrush family

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Hundreds of migrating fieldfares and redwings have arrived on the Isle of Man, the Manx Wildlife Trust says.

More than 400 fieldfares and 200 redwings were recorded by the ornithology warden on the Calf of Man on the 15-16 October.

Both species are members of the thrush family and travel from northern Europe in search of warmer weather and food.

The birds feed on a wide range of insects and earthworms in summer and berries in winter.

Director of the Manx Wildlife Trust Duncan Bridges says it was a very exciting time for wildlife on the island.

"The arrival of these species really marks the beginning of the peak autumn migration. Over the next few weeks there will be so much to see around the island.

"The warden on the Calf of Man is recording a real influx of birds to our shores.

"Both the fieldfare and redwing are escaping the colder Scandinavian climate and are in search of autumn fruit, insects and worms. I am sure they will be turning up in gardens all over the island."

Arctic skuas

Migrating redwings fly in from their breeding grounds every year, arriving in autumn in large flocks, frequently mixed with fieldfare.

They are distinguishable as having olive-brown wings and orange-red flanks and underwings.

Other autumn migrants including Arctic skuas, pintails, pochards, Brent geese and whooper swans have also been sighted on the island in the first two weeks of October.

The Calf of Man is owned by Manx National Heritage and has been run as a bird observatory for over 50 years.

The wardening service for the island is provided by Manx Wildlife Trust and Manx BirdLife.

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