Black-throated Thrush with red in underparts

Belgium, December 2010

Following on from the difficult themes of vagrant Asian Thrushes and their propensity to hybridise/ intergrade, Edouard Dansette sent these photos of a bird in Belgium in December 2010. Clearly its predominant appearance is that of a male Black-throated Thrush. However the lovely reddish tones in the ventral region seeming to extend at least in some degree onto the flanks make it  both beautiful and a little confounding/disturbing.

Confounding when you live in Western Europe and are trying to interpret what constituents the differences between pure and intergrade birds.

Unstable. Some may have already seen photo of this particular individual. Apologies, For those who haven’t, this has some striking aspects to its plumage. The plumage nuances that cause angst reflects an unstable group of birds. I was musing this morning with some of the Flamborean seawatch stalwarts about ‘red-tailed shrikes’ (Brown, Red-backed, Isabelline etc.). They too are sometimes described as ‘unstable’. They interbreed a bit. Messy for us, just reality for them: Unstable and rare and…

This bird was also trapped and closely inspected…

Grive-a-gorge-noire--male-1er-annee--loppem--bel-copie-14

grive-a-gorge-noire--Loppem--belgique-decembre-20-copie-26

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About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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