I had been watching this Song Thrush Turdus philomelos making its way along the bank of the river hunting and looking for worms and grubs for a while until it flew up into a tree with its beak quite full of dinner.
May 2018, banks of the River Severn, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England. © Pete Hillman Sigma 18-300mm.
The Song Thrush is smaller than a Blackbird, with dark to olive back plumage, V-shaped brown-black spots on the underside, a pale eye-ring and streaks under its cheeks. Often confused with the Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) which is larger and has less distinct rounded spots on its underside. The Song Thrush has a vibrant full-throated song which can be quite musical with repeated phrasing.
As a ground feeder it hops and runs across open ground, plucking up worms, snails and slugs, and other invertebrates. It will also eat berries and other fruits, but is a somewhat reluctant visitor to the garden bird table. The nests are formed of grassy cups lined with mud and dung, built low in low vegetation like a bush or a hedge. The female lays 3 to 5 eggs in 2 or 3 broods from March to July. They can live for up to 5 years.
Seen all year round, and found in broadleaved woodland, parkland, farmland, gardens and parks with bushes and trees.
The Song Thrush has a red RSPB status as numbers have seriously declined, however they are still fairly common and widespread across the UK.
Photograph of Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos), taken May 2013, Warley Woods, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2013. Camera used Nikon Coolpix P500.