Pair of Large brown ground feeding crow/Jay/Jackdaw like bird

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Pair of Large brown ground feeding crow/Jay/Jackdaw like bird

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Unfortunately I didn't have camera with me so no photo.

On heathland near southwold not too far from the estuary As per subject.  Ground feeeding out in open.  Closest saw me but continued feeding down hill towards me until the dog who had been sitting obediently moved suddenly. Thought they were jays at first but larger and slimmer. Not as chunky as jay or Jackdaw.  Bigger than both but smaller than crow, tall with a more upright stance.  Not any sort of wader. Possibly dappled chest similar to a thrush.  Had glimpse of one of them on a previous day in tree but was silhouetted so no colour guide thought then it looked like a very large thrush / fieldfare. Call was a long churring similar to nightjar but not as prolonged. not heard before.

Any offers?

Verified Answer
  • Mistle Thrush? They are surprisingly large birds. Their alarm call is similar to an old fashioned football rattle.

  • Think you are right.  Listened to alarm call recordings on tinternet and these very similar to the call I first heard in the tree, and I did think at the time was a very large thrush type bird.  The upright stance and shape is also correct for the second sighting.  Its just the size, the book says 27cm, I thought they were bigger - taller than a Jay which book says 34-35cm and we also have a pair maybe two pairs of Jay in the neighbourhood as the moment so I am seeing regularly.  Hopefully I'll see / hear again today.  I'll take bins or camera - can't manage both and the dog!

  • I agree with mistle thrush suggestion. When most/almost all descriptions match a species, more often than not, it is the size estimate that is the exception. Easy to misjudge if that is the case in this example.

  • Yes definitely a pair of mistle thrushs.  Saw them again very close to original sighting and a pair of Jackdaws came down to harass them and gave a very good indication of size. (the trush is smaller than I had thought)  Also had binoculars with me so was able to get much better look.

    Thank you all

All Replies
  • Mistle Thrush? They are surprisingly large birds. Their alarm call is similar to an old fashioned football rattle.

  • My thoughts are also of Mistle Thrush.

  • Think you are right.  Listened to alarm call recordings on tinternet and these very similar to the call I first heard in the tree, and I did think at the time was a very large thrush type bird.  The upright stance and shape is also correct for the second sighting.  Its just the size, the book says 27cm, I thought they were bigger - taller than a Jay which book says 34-35cm and we also have a pair maybe two pairs of Jay in the neighbourhood as the moment so I am seeing regularly.  Hopefully I'll see / hear again today.  I'll take bins or camera - can't manage both and the dog!

  • I agree with mistle thrush suggestion. When most/almost all descriptions match a species, more often than not, it is the size estimate that is the exception. Easy to misjudge if that is the case in this example.

  • Yes definitely a pair of mistle thrushs.  Saw them again very close to original sighting and a pair of Jackdaws came down to harass them and gave a very good indication of size. (the trush is smaller than I had thought)  Also had binoculars with me so was able to get much better look.

    Thank you all