Sunday, 6 November 2016

Turdus viscivorus

If you have an apple tree with some windfalls on the ground, you may have heard or even seen a mistle thrush scoffing the fruit and chasing off other birds including blackbirds and songthrushes.

The picture below shows a mistle thrush on a rowan twig which she has stripped of berries


I said you may have heard one.  They have a merry song, a bit like a blackbird's but briefer, but what I have heard lately is the rattling contact call, like an old-fashioned wooden football rattle.  You can hear the songs of both song thrush and mistle thrush on this BTO video, and right at the end the rattling call.


I used to think they were rare but Steve Gilliard showed me a nest in the fork of a tree at Thornbury Leisure Centre this summer.  We had to keep our distance otherwise the parent bird would not go to the nest with food for the nestlings, for fear of giving away its whereabouts to predators.



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