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Mistle Thrush
Turdus viscivorus

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.
 

Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

1-2: Frogmore, Hampshire, 22/05/2006.