Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Another thrush, this time blue!

Another offer of a space that was hard to refuse...

A blue rock thrush in Gloucestershire. Another pleasant twitch with the bird showing well on the roofs of a cul de sac for the majority of the time we were there, only 30-50 birders present scattered across a few streets, all well behaved, the locals were pleasant and interested. The cafe was nice for an all day breakfast too.

So is the bird actually wild??

Location- slightly odd, but eastern black redstart not far away recently and dusky thrush not too far north either. The roof tops are not the sort of habitat you would expect to see a rock thrush on, but the roofs were covered with moss and quite rock like, the brickwork of the buildings were natural rather than red bricks. Clutching at straws maybe, but it wasn't a million miles from the correct cliff like mountainous habitat...

Behaviour- while we were there the bird was flying from rooftop to rooftop looking for food, it stuck to the rooftops apart from a brief flight to a conifer. At one point it saw a fly and did a rather good impression of a flycatcher, it also chased a few flies successfully, so was able to feed itself without any problems. It was not particularly scared of us, but at the same time it didn't come and beg for food, it kept its distance on the tops in its 'rocky habitat'.

Plumage/appearance- Essentially a long billed round headed blue 'blackbird'. Left wing drooping was not great. Apart from that the plumage looked good, white crescents and long bill are suggestive of eastern origin which is good considering the number of eastern birds this autumn. I couldn't see any abraided feathers or signs of it being a cage bird, I didn't get to inspect its feet.

I must admit I went there slightly sceptical and returned with the impression that this could well be a wild bird, behaviourally it was good, plumage good, location/habitat maybe not quite so much, but possibly not as bad as it sounds, it will be interesting to hear the thoughts of the bbrc.












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