Now that the spring has arrived, I have noticed the appearance of a remarkably more varied birdsong outside my window each morning. In mid-March, I decided to take a walk around Sheffield, with the bird society, to see what I could clamp eyes on. After ambling around a pond which was home to numerous Mallards and Geese, we went searching for some passerines.
|Pied Wagtails, Motacilla alba|
|Pied Wagtail, Motacilla alba|
In Crookes Valley park, I noticed a Mistle thrush, Turdus viscivorus on the bowling green. The Mistle thrush has a yellow-white breast speckled with black spots as shown in the photograph below, similarly to Song thrush. The bird foraged on the ground- characteristic behaviour from this species, helping separate it from Song Thrush, which is usually seen in the treeline. It then preceded to release a distinctive rattling call, as it flew off onto the bowling green clubhouse. The British Trust for Ornithology have released a useful youtube video, which tells us how to tell Mistle thrush from Song Thrush: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VEDsg0V1_M&list=PLFFgJk1PU_BMFv-PUiK3udwr0vpzE-DH0
|Mistle Thrush, Turdus viscivorus|
|Male Bullfinch, Pyrrhula pyrhulla|
Blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus
|Blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus, with its distinctive blue cap and wings|
In another outing on 14/03/14, I spotted several House sparrow, Passer domesticus individuals. They found perches in some scrub near to where I live. They are reasonably stocky birds, with brown wings and white-grey underside. The top photograph depicts a male, due to the presence of black bib, and the lower is a female, which lacks a bib.
|Female House Sparrow, Passer domesticus|