But Which One?

Song Thrush
Song Thrush

We don’t often see a thrush in the garden. This guy was a little coy. I noticed his spotted breast and rushed for the camera, he promptly turned his back on me and stayed that way until he flew off. Thrushes and Blackbirds are the same family, it’s just that blackbirds are (mostly) black. The Song Thrush is slightly smaller than it’s cousin the Mistle Thrush. The Mistle Thrush goes out of his way to emphasise this by standing straight and tall. He’s inclined to be aggressive and will protect a holly or other tree with a good supply of berries against all comers. He has a similar song to a blackbird and his habit of often singing from a high perch in stormy weather has earned him the name Storm Cock.

I’m fairly convinced that this is the Song Thrush. He is blackbird size and when I first saw him he was scratting around in the the dead leaves, just the way the blackbird does. I don’t think I’ve heard him sing yet. His song is quite distinctive. He sounds just like a blackbird but whereas the blackbird will take a phrase and treat you to endless variations on the theme, the song thrush repeats each phrase twice – just to make sure you heard it the first time. His alter ego, the throstle, is a corruption of the German for thrush – drossel

Wordsworth in 1798, wrote a poem called The Tables Turned which, showing how little things change, is as valid today as it was then. Just change ‘books’ to ‘computer’ and he says it all.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

This is the fourth verse – go and read it all – it’s worth  the words!

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