The Mistle Thrush is the largest of the UK's thrush species at 26-29 cm and makes its presence known through it song, often delivered from high up in a tree or roofline. The old tale goes that their song presages the coming of a storm, which gave rise to their country name of Stormcock. Size apart, they can be recognised from other turdus thrushes by the paler grey-brown of the plumage, the heavier, darker spotting of the breast and the underwing and flank colour - white for Mistle, red-orange for Redwing and ochre for Song Thrush. The Fieldfare also has a white underwing, but the ochre breast markings, V-shaped flank spots, white supercilium and grey head make them easy to separate with a good view. The name stems from their practice of eating Mistletoe berries in the winter, when they often defend a tree against other birds, but they also eat a wide range of berries, fruits and invertebrates. They are widespread in the UK, although not as common as the other thrushes with the exception of the Ring Ouzel.
1-2: Frogmore, Hampshire, 22/05/2006.