Monday, 13 April 2009

A Thrush, some Jackdaws and Rooks' Beaks

This morning I was pleased to see the Song Thrush was in the garden again. It was near the bottom of the garden and at first I thought it was a female Blackbird until I picked up the binoculars and checked. Then I dashed through to get the camera. I managed to get a hurried photo just as the Thrush pulled a worm from the grass.

Thrush with Worm

Unfortunately for the Thrush it wasn't the only bird interested in worms. Before it could take advantage of its catch along came a Blackbird who chased the Thrush away.

Thrush and Blackbird

It didn't go far away and soon returned to look for another breakfast snack only to be scared away by a Starling.

Thrush and Starling

The poor old Thrush really did look sorry for itself and after another look round that part of the garden went off to pastures new.

From Blogger Pictures

A couple of days ago there were four Jackdaws feeding on the lawn but they all scattered as soon as they spotted me through the kitchen window. Two of them came back and carried on feeding while I took some photos. Most of the time they stayed very close together and often moved identically. They would both reach down for a seed at exactly the same time. Synchronised feeding!

Pair of Jackdaws

Pair of Jackdaws

Those bright, light coloured eyes always look so piercing and intense.


Now this 'hair style' looks very modern and wouldn't be out of place at any night club!


As I mentioned a short while ago I had a look through my Rook photos to see what variations there are in beak markings and I think I have found five individuals which visit the garden.

Rooks Beaks

There is quite a variation with some which make them easy to spot. The one bottom right has a curved top section to its beak so that it does not close completely. The top right one has a hanging growth (skin?) under the beak. Others have wart like features on their beaks. There are a lot of Rooks in two Rookeries locally so no doubt I will be able to spot more individuals in the future.

Finally: Here is a link to a short audio capture of a Song Thrush.


  1. Great shots of the Jackdaws John. I think close up, thier eyes are quite stunning.
    Interesting comparing the Rooks beaks. I wonder if the 'skin' ammount, is anything to do with age.

  2. Lovely photos as always John, I found it very painful looking at your beautiful Song Thrush as I found feathers last week which I'm sure were from 'mine' and haven't heard or seen it since. I'm sure it was the neighbour's cat and it has saddened me more than I can say.

    Lovely to see the Jackdaw, never see them in my garden and the Rooks beaks thing is fascinating. That was very astute of you, it would not have occurred to me that they differed.

  3. Holdingmoments: Thanks for the nice comment. I get the impression that the amount of extra material on the beak is age related. The cleaner / tidier looking beaks seem to belong to juveniles.

    ShySongbird: I know how you feel. About a month ago we met a cat which had a beautiful Great Tit in its mouth. I nearly let Bobby off his lead but the cat disappeared through a hedge. That pointless killing really upset me.

    I don't really want to encourage the Jackdaws too much as some can be a real nuisance.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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