The thrush which I heard singing last month and which I discussed with another bird watcher in The Grove was I now realise a fieldfare, still a variety of thrush but I am now convinced a fieldfare. I have seen these handsome birds before in The Grove. They usually flock in fields adjoining woodland where they breed. A song thrush would not be singing on a frosty January day, more likely a fieldfare. They visit Britain from central and eastern Europe in the Winter.
"We laughed a little, cried a little", is a tongue-in-cheek, self-mocking cliché that comes to me out of the past. After a bibulous dinner we explain Utube to some people who haven't yet encountered it. Frank Sinatra was their choice of nostalgia . "Do you remember that?" says Dave to Julie. Dave is a man not given to showing his feelings but as the familiar tune erupts, feelings begin to show. "They were playing that when I asked you to marry me, " he chokes. We laugh a little, cry a little.
They weren't the only ones who romanced to Frank Sinatra. In our case stars fell on Alabama, I personally felt so young, we were overseen by that old devil moon, and - given it was the summer of 1959 and it didn't rain until mid-October - we were showered with pennies.
Switching from SFSL to CFWM we also had those rather raunchily sung lines:
If you could use,
Some exotic booze,
There's a bar in far Bombay.
though we preferred the pub on Clapham Common.
I'm going to get all anorakish and know-it-all about the thrushes now, of course.
While I'm not sure it's impossible, it's unlikely a fieldfare would be singing solitary in a tree, though they might well be flocking and flying about in the Grove. They only come in winter, in numbers, to feed, so don't breed or establish territory, so they don't tend to sing, just call and whistle to each other a bit maybe.
Mistle thrushes on the other hand are also large and handsome and sing very early in the year, whatever the weather, from high exposed perches, so they have sometimes been called storm cocks. It's a loud, bold song, simpler than a song thrush's with fewer repeats, but pleasant and melodious.
Lucy Having heard and seen the thrush on several subsequent occasions I have been coming to the same conclusion, especially as the fieldfares I have seen in The Grove before were in a flock, no mistaking them then. Thanks f or confirming my thoughts.
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