Song Thrush or Immature Blackbird?

To: Peter Shute <>,
Subject: Song Thrush or Immature Blackbird?
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 13:19:19 +1000
Bassian Thrushes occasionally turns up in Melbourne parks along the Yarra. I've seen them at Banyule and in Ivanhoe, and i am prepared to believe that they are possible at the Botanic Gardens. Song Thrush are now quite rare after the long drought. Song Thrush is almost the same size as Blackbird - maybe slightly shorter - and very similar in general look. but it has much lighter coloured bacl and heqd plumage. It matches the colour of dry ground, while imature or female blackbird matches the colour of wet ground. Song Thrush is seldom seen out in the open, usually under shrubs and bushes except in dark cloudy conditions or twilight. Cream underneath with dark streaks. Rather rufous underwing may be seen in flight. Bassian Thrush likes shrubbery too but is quite a bit larger than Blackbird or Song Thrush. Tends to hold its head more in line with its back than the others. All feathers have a bold, scaly dark edge on both brown back and white underparts. Slater's first edition left Blackbird out altogether and now squeezes it in at the bottom of a page - makes it hard to compare Zoothera and Turdus thrushes.
Anthea Fleming
Peter Shute wrote:

I saw a Bassian Thrush on a BOCA outing in the Botanic Gardens a couple
of weeks ago.  So they are around, and if it looked like a Bassian then
it could be a Bassian, although I have no idea how common they are
outside the gardens.  Not very common in them, much less common outside
them, I would guess.

Peter Shute

 wrote on Monday, 9 July 2007 7:26 PM:

If it looked like a Bassian it was a Song Thrush. They do like to
fossick in gardens and on lawns and are known to follow gardeners
around looking for easy pickings. Immature blackbirds are still much
darker in colour, more like a female,  than the buffish white with
distinct arrowhead streaks underneath of the Song Thrush.

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