In company of Bradders, Hawky, and Muffin - a Mistle Thrush dipper earlier in the week - we glided around the M25 and arrived just after it had disappeared deep into some reeds, no doubt searching for some tasty worms. We didn't have too long to wait thankfully, as it was soon picked up in a willow close to the water. Although the whole bird was difficult to see, being mostly obscured by branches, glimpses of a black cap, stripy breast and large yellow bill pointed all too clearly to Mistle Thrush. Phew!
Frustrating views were had by all over the next half an hour as it skulked right at the bottom of the willow, occasionally darting forward to pull a wiggling worm out of the water. And then for no apparent reason it hopped up higher into the willow before flying out and down into some more favourable thrush habitat of reeds and sedge. We charted it's progress with snatches of movement, a bill here, an eye here, and then finally the moment we had all been waiting for! It crept out of the reeds into full view and showed brilliantly, allowing those present to see all the critical features and eliminate once and for all any thoughts of it merely being a Little Bittern.
|The Mistle Thrush poses with a particularly rotund worm