Somerset Ornithological Society - Bird News
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So many Mistle Thrushes

Walking this evening close by Thurlbear Wood the parched meadow was alive with so many "thrushes" it reminded me of winter only they were Mistle Thrushes, at least 20. Any ideas why?

Re: So many Mistle Thrushes

Hi David,

Great record of a species that seems to have declined significantly in recent times. This behaviour is common for Mistle Thrushes at this time of the year. Here's a quote from BWPi ...

... 'From late summer to early winter, frequently in family parties and small, rather loose nomadic flocks or (particularly for feeding on migration) larger aggregations of 100 or more. Flocks tend to break up by mid-winter (Witherby et al. 1938b; Bannerman 1954; Simms 1978)'.

Best regards,


Re: So many Mistle Thrushes

As Nick says, Mistle thrushes seem harder to find in parts of Somerset these days. I find them very difficult to find on the levels but on occasional visits to Northern England and Scotland in recent years they are much more common and I have seen loose flocks of 20 or more in places like Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

Re: So many Mistle Thrushes

In North Somerset, rather than Somerset, I saw a group of 17 feeding on a model aircraft field near Yatton earlier this week. This is a regular site for post breeding flocks but, like almost everything else, they are 6-8 weeks later than usual.

I have recorded 30 at this site, yet the birds seem pretty scarce locally at other times of the year.

Re: So many Mistle Thrushes

Saw a group of 20+ mistle thrush on Nailsea Moor (Avon) recently.

Re: So many Mistle Thrushes

I saw a large group of Mistle Thrushes on Chilton Moor back on the 17th August..a dozen or more.