Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

This migrating bird appears in the UK and other parts of central Europe for the winter months. It will not tolerate people approaching so photographing this shy bird must be from a hide or concealed location. They love fallen apples, if you collect apples in the autumn and put them in your garden during a time of very cold or snowy weather they will often come in for a ‘feast’. During a very heavy spell of snow we bought some apples cut them in half and placed them onto the bird table and outside a downstairs window. Over several days the birds came regularly into the garden, one they were ‘settled’ we spent several days in full camouflage gear standing very still with the cameras out of the house windows. The results were some very close and detailed photographs. Meter on the white part of the bird, as it is easy to over expose and lose detail in the highlights. Set the cameras dynamic range to full, this will ensure detail between high contrast areas of black and white.

On some camera using the camera mode set vivid will give greater colour depth to the birds, if you are unsure look at the different colour modes when converting the RAW file into TIFF.

The fieldfare eats invertebrates as well as fruits and nests in a tree close to the trunk laying 5 - 6 eggs which hatch after 10 days.