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Looks like mistle thrush but huge bill? UK bird ID help (1 Viewer)

Mother_of_birds

Active member
United Kingdom
This morning I spotted a bird on the flat roofs opposite me that caught my attention because of its large bill. I quickly grabbed my binoculars and from behind it looked like a mistle thrush (which would be unusual enough since I've never seen one anywhere near my flat), also a short glimpse at its belly would support this identification as well as its overall size and shape. However this bird had a large black bill - probably 2-3 times the size of a mistle thrush bill and shaped more like that of a woodpecker. Any ideas what it might be? (I'm in Norwich, UK)
 

Mother_of_birds

Active member
United Kingdom
If it's not a Mistle Thrush what about a Green Woodpecker? Bill would fit & sometimes posture on the ground can surprisingly look similar. A juvenile would be heavily marked below & less brightly coloured than an adult. As they will be dispersing may turn up in more unusual locations.
Just had a look at a juvenile Green Woodpecker and you could be right. The bill certainly looks like what I saw and the speckled belly. The wings are what make me question it though because the bird I saw really didn't look green at all, it was brown with the edged wing markings like a Mistle Thrush. However I wont rule it out. I saw the bird go into a hole on the roof so hopefully I might see it again!
 

Joern Lehmhus

Well-known member
Going into a hole on the roof doesn´t sound liek mistle thrush bevaviour, while here in Northern Germany at my work place the recently fledged green woodpeckers also use the walls and roofs of buildings
 

Waxwings

Well-known member
Going into a hole on the roof doesn´t sound liek mistle thrush bevaviour, while here in Northern Germany at my work place the recently fledged green woodpeckers also use the walls and roofs of buildings

The most likely bird to be going into a hole in the roof is a Starling. Juveniles are brown with a long dark bill (albeit not as long as this one appeared) and potentially some speckling on the underparts.
 

aeshna5

Well-known member
The most likely bird to be going into a hole in the roof is a Starling. Juveniles are brown with a long dark bill (albeit not as long as this one appeared) and potentially some speckling on the underparts.
There's no mention of the bird going in a hole in the roof in the OP's piece-for some reason it's something Joern has brought into the discussion. She (I think if mother?) said it was on a flat roof- no holes indicated.
 

Joern Lehmhus

Well-known member
As Butty mentioned, mother of birds stated in post 3: "I saw the bird go into a hole on the roof so hopefully I might see it again!"

so Not my idea and pretty much unusual for mistle thrush

Agree that a starling may be another possibility though as size might have beeen perceived wrong- and occasionally bill in starlings can look quite big:
https://flic.kr/p/2jrTA43
 

Mother_of_birds

Active member
United Kingdom
As Butty mentioned, mother of birds stated in post 3: "I saw the bird go into a hole on the roof so hopefully I might see it again!"

so Not my idea and pretty much unusual for mistle thrush

Agree that a starling may be another possibility though as size might have beeen perceived wrong- and occasionally bill in starlings can look quite big:
https://flic.kr/p/2jrTA43
This juvenile starling picture is certainly a closer match than a mistle thrush.

I haven't yet seen the bird again - I can't spend too long standing in my kitchen with my binoculars aimed at the block of flats 😂
 
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