Five a day

Bill Oddie has had to search a bit but has finally found a tree covered in berries. It’s a mountain ash, or a rowan, and it seems to be about the only one on the Heath this year. But there are veritable clusters of juicy red berries on it and a good tip for autumn birding is to just sit next to a tree like this, not too close, but close enough to use your binoculars, and just wait and see what comes and has a nibble. This is classic thrush food. At the moment there are blackbirds, which are of course in the thrush family. That’s a green woodpecker eating berries. Bill's never seen that before, since green woodpeckers generally feed on the floor. They’re not pecking wood at all, they’re sticking their beaks into short turf using those big long sticky tongues and getting out ants and insects. But presumably this one fancied a bit of veg with his meat. What else have we got in here? Crows. Once one bird comes in, often friends join it, that’s how birds work finding food. That’s why they travel in flocks.

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