djm4_lj: (Wallace)
We have a pair of mistle thrushes in Melford Road at the moment. Actually, I don't know that they're a pair, but there are two of them; usually, one of them perches in one of the berry-laden trees along the road, shouting rattling defiance at any other birds who look like they might have designs on the berries, and the other perches on a rooftop aerial with a look of pained tolerance for the noisy display of its partner.

Mistle thrushes, in case you've never heard them, have an alarm call like a stuttering football rattle or, in bird terms, like a speeded-up magpie. Today, both birds were calling, although I suspect that this was because the normally silent one was discombobulated by trying to perch on a telegraph wire. Mistle thrushes are large for thrushes - even bigger than blackbirds - and this one couldn't quite pull off the insouciant balancing on a thin wire act. It was clearly affronted by this, and felt that if those pesky starlings could just sit there without a wobble, it should be able to, but after about a minute of swinging wildly like a pendulum on the high seas, it sheepishly retired to the nearest tree.

I don't really think of mistle thrushes as town birds, and certainly to the extent that they are so they're more usually found in parks and larger gardens. I think Melford Road suits them very well at the moment, however, because it's lined with two rows of trees that look like white-berried rowans (is there such a thing?). As you might guess from their name, berries form a substantial portion of their diet. One thrush sometimes feeds from the tree outside my window; I'll have to try to get a photo next time I see it.

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djm4_lj

July 2015

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