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Thrush ID Help Appreciated (1 Viewer)

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Hi all,

Bird in the attached, I think mistle thrush although I wouldn't rule out young/younger redwing. 'Markings underneath don't look right for a redwing to me.

Thanks in advance for any help,
Paul.

Edited to add: I should have said this bird was in woodland with huge old trees and few obvious berries on them, unlike where I'm used to seeing redwings (woodland in County Durham).
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Paul, agree with Nutcracker and KC
Redwing can be excluded by lack of supercilium, wrong shape of spots on underparts and wrong brown tone at the head, too grey for the vast majority of Redwings.
Deciding between Mistle and Song Trush is more difficult imo.
Its a Mistle imo:
bill shape is better, stronger than for a Song Trush,
clear grey hue to the brown head is better for Mistle
open face with pale lore fits Mistle better
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Mistle Thrush it is (y)

Redwing would be substantially smaller, and have a prominent buffy-white eyebrow.

Cheers. The other noticeable thing was being a lot closer to this bird for a decent amount of time, at more or less similar eye level, than I would ever get to a redwing. In my limited experience, redwings spot you a mile off and don't hang around when they've seen you.

I didn't really notice a great a deal of difference in size. Redwings look small in flight, at least to me, but when taking a picture they don't seem so small. I'm guessing there's a few centimetres in it and to an experienced bird watcher that will be noticeable.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Yep, that's right - Mistle 28 cm; Redwing 22 cm. And yes, Redwings are usually much shyer, while Mistles are often bold.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Hello Paul, agree with Nutcracker and KC
Redwing can be excluded by lack of supercilium, wrong shape of spots on underparts and wrong brown tone at the head, too grey for the vast majority of Redwings.
Deciding between Mistle and Song Trush is more difficult imo.
Its a Mistle imo:
bill shape is better, stronger than for a Song Trush,
clear grey hue to the brown head is better for Mistle
open face with pale lore fits Mistle better

Hi Alexander,

I use my bird book as a starting point and when not clear I'll have a look at various photos on the internet. On this occasion I don't think the markings on the underneath of the three birds mentioned, as shown in my book, gave the definitive answer but when looking at various photos other people had taken; I thought the markings underneath were the most defining feature and were pretty much an exact match for a mistle thrush (my photo versus other people's photos on the internet). Also, habitat and behaviour should have ruled out a redwing, but given my lack of experience I didn't want to discount the possibility of the bird being a young/developing redwing altogether.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I wasn't expecting to see a mistle thrush where I was yesterday so it's pleasing to have a photo of a new bird.
 

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