Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Redwing
Photograph © Christine Walling
Newmarket - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
15th October, 2009
"There was a flock of these in my garden tonight - so pretty."
Our Redwing photographs
- Turdus iliacus
- Gaelic: Deargan-sneachda
- UK: Resident Breeder, Passage / Winter Visitor
- UK: Summer: 2 -22 pairs breeding. AMBER LIST
- UK: Winter: 750,000 in UK. (Arrives Sept-Oct, leaves Mar- Apr) BTO
- WI: Fairly common passage visitor (occurs in small numbers) & fairly common winter visitor (occurs in small numbers)
- Breeds: North Europe (not WI), Asia
- Winters: South Europe - UK, South Asia
- Habitat: Northern birch or conifer forest & tundra scrub, open land
- UK's smallest thrush (19-23cm). Dark russet-brown above, heavily streaked white underparts. Glowing chesnut-red flanks & underwing. Creamy-white stripe above eye, another beneath it's cheek. Bill pale with a black tip. Legs pale pinkish-brown. In flight the chesnut-red underwing can be seen -giving the bird it's name. Forms large flocks (with starlings & fieldfares). Sexes similar
- Lives uo to 18 years
- Diet: Omnivorous: Insects, earthworms (plus berries autumn & winter)
- Listen to a Redwing (RSPB site)
- Similar bird Song Thrush
The Redwing is a true thrush, the smallest we get in the UK.
At rest a Redwing is very similar to a Song Thrush. It is a rather shy bird, and prefers to feed on open land rather than in small gardens.
Redwings eat berries and worms, they strip Rowan trees bare!
Their beaks are a great design for pecking at apples, and the birds feed readily on them when available.
The first Redwing on the Isle of Great Bernera in Autumn 2006 were reported on October 11th, they are usually seen in the islands from the end of September onwards, they come to over-winter in our milder climate!
At this point a few Redwing had been about in the Southern Isles for a while, the majority of which appeared to be Scandinavian ones, in the Western Isles we usually have the darker Icelandic race predominating (almost exclusively that race in spring)
Most leave in April heading off to breed in Northern Scandinavia and Iceland.
Redwing records in the Western Isles
One breeding record
Fairly common passage visitor (occurs in small numbers) and fairly common winter visitor (occurs in small numbers)
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)
"In the Western Isles the darker Icelandic race predominates (almost exclusively that race in spring)" Andrew Stephenson
On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Redwing is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.
(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section