Sunday, 28 February 2010

Kirkstall Abbey squabble

Down by the riverbank at Kirkstall Abbey three Mistle Thrush were engaged in a lively tussle around a weather damaged Willow. Well... two birds got stuck in whilst the third assumed the role of onlooker throughout & I presume two males were fighting over the female. The squabble went on for a couple of minutes until they were disturbed by oncoming walkers oblivious to the noisy duel overhead.

I have to admit that I had to ask my Dad for help in making sure these were Mistle Thrush & not Song Thrush. Here you can see the white underwings of a Mistle Thrush as opposed to the Song Thrush that has orange buff underwings.

The commotion seemed to attract the attention of other birds in the neighbourhood & quickly on the scene was a nosy Magpie, Long Tailed Tits, Chafinch, Wren, Robin and a Treecreeper.


On returning to the spot 20 minutes later one bird remained, I wonder which one of the three it was.

By the Abbey a couple of Mute Swan flew directly overhead, heading NW providing a great view of the underside of the bird in flight.


  1. Great illustrated description of the quarrelling thrushes. I really like the swan silhouette.

  2. The Thrush are a bit difficult to tell apart sometimes aren't they?! It's still a wonder to me that people don't notice what's going on around them - how could you ignore the noise of squabbling birds? Love the photos of the Swans

  3. Thanks John & Pam, I was lucky to catch sight of the duelling Mistle Thrush and even more so to come away with a couple of pics to illustrate my meanderings. The swans overhead was a lucky strike too, just enough time to put down my warming cup of tea and pick up my camera. Phew! Linda


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