Saturday, 2 February 2013

Mistle thrushes sharing the turf

There is a resident pair of Mistle Thrushes in my local park. The resident male has been singing occasionally since the end of November from a high post on the tallest trees. Mistle Thrushes' song is reminiscent of the Blackbird's but with shorter, more repetitive, mournful phrases that carry quite far. Up to five birds gathered on the grass before Christmas, and when the snow arrived the locals birds had to share the few clear patches of turf under the trees with a flock of immigrant Redwings and a lone Fieldfare in search of earthworms and other invertebrates. Mistle Thrushes are large and bossy, and if the other thrushes get too close, they are chased away without trouble. Resident birds have a head start in the breeding season. They know their patch and as soon as conditions are right they can start nesting right away.
 The male was singing again in the last few days without snow, while the female fed on the grass.
Mistle Thrush and Fieldfare
Mistle Thrush, Redwing (back) and Fieldfare (foreground)
The pair feeding on the snow
Male singing yesterday


  1. I can't remember when I last saw a Mistle Thrush but I have seen Redwing and Fieldfare this year.

  2. Thank you for commenting Toffeeapple. This was the first year I saw Fieldfare in the local park, they are handsome birds. Mistle thrushes seem to be in decline, I am lucky to have a breeding pair nearby.