Fieldfare – 2020

Turdus pilaris – SOCAN EIRA – Winter visitor and passage migrant.

The Fieldfare breeds across Iceland, much of northern and central Europe, and east to central Siberia and northwest China. Occasionally, it has bred in Scotland.

Some fieldfares arrive in Pembrokeshire in mid-September, but the main arrival is at the beginning of October (week 41).   The timing depends mainly on the food supply to the north – many Norwegian breeding birds stay in Norway if the weather is mild and berry crop is good. Thus the numbers seen in Pembrokeshire can vary considerably.

See Fieldfare 1994 for more detailed information.

Data from BirdTrack: this graph shows the numbers of records on the Pembrokeshire mainland only. As Skomer and Skokholm are not occupied in winter, including their records makes it look as though the species is primarily migrating through. Island records do, however, slightly extend the season, eg. with singles recorded on Skokholm on 10 and 13 June 1980, and then from mid-September in some years.

During the winter, fieldfares can be found across the county, often in small numbers, but occasionally in flocks of 50-100. The largest flock recorded in recent years was of 1,700 that passed over Skomer on 2 March 2018.

This map was produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre using data collected between November and February for the BTO Atlas 2007-11, with additional data collected in 2011-12 winter to fill gaps in coverage.

Ringing recoveries

Several ringed as nestlings in Norway and Finland have been recovered in Wales, and one ringed in Wales was found in Sweden in the breeding season. The following birds were all recovered in Pembrokeshire:

Adult female, 14-11-1983. Noordeinde, Oldebroek: 52°31’N 5°52’E (Gelderland) The NetherlandsDead, 22-02-1986. Haverfordwest.
Nestling, 20-06-1953. Fana: 60°19’N 5°27’E (Hordaland) NorwayDead, 05-03-1956. Waterston, Milford Haven
Nestling, 06-06-1963. Madekoski, near Oulujoki: 64°57’N 25°37’E (Oulu) FinlandDead (storm) 02-11-1964 South Bishop Lighthouse  2,283km   WSW

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)


BALMER D, GILLINGS S, CAFFREY B, SWANN B, DOWNIE I, FULLER R. 2014. Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland.  HarperCollins.  UK

HBW – Handbook of the Birds of the World

LACK P. 1986.  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

LOVEGROVE R, WILLIAMS G, WILLIAMS I. 1994.  Birds in Wales. T & A. D. Poyser, London

Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

WERNHAM. C, TOMS. M, MARCHANT. J, CLARK. J, SIRIWARDENA. G, BAILLIE. S. 2002. The Migration Atlas, Movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

More about the Fieldfare in Pembrokeshire