Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Songs

The mornings are beginning however slowly, to 'draw out' and we have been waking up to the beautiful singing voice of a Song Thrush over the past few days.  Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) numbers are falling rapidly in the UK and as such are on the RSPB's 'Red List' making them among the most threatened birds in Britain.  So, with that in mind, it is even more wonderful that we have a pair visiting our garden every day to pick up the bits of Fat-ball which the Sparrows have dropped.  So far, I have only been able to capture a couple of pictures out the window and even then, not very good ones as it's been too dark.  This is about the best so far.
Smaller and more finely spotted than it's cousin the Mistle Thrush, the Song Thrush is well named as it's sweet voice proves.  It's habit of repeating short phrases throughout it's song, helps to set it apart from a Blackbird's song.  This singing ability was also part of the bird's downfall as until the nineteenth century, they were regularly caught and kept as cage birds.  Their further decline today, is more to do with loss of farmland habitat caused by those so-called 'guardians of the countryside', the British farmers, as well as domestic cats, illegal hunting and trapping around the Mediterranean, slug pellets and road casualties - knocked down as they use the hard road surface to break into snail shells.  With all that working against them, it's a wonder there are any left at all.
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