Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Song Thrush on Sliabh Mannan

Turdus philomelosFor many years, the only members of the thrush family I've seen around and about in Sliabh Mannan have been blackbirds (Turdus merula) which are numerous and great contributors to the melody of spring and summer birdsong. I wasn't sure why other normally common members of the family were not present.

One year I remember spotting a single redwing (Turdus iliacus) and I half remember a possible fieldfare (Turdus pilaris), but both were fleeting glimspes and not seen again.

However in the last few years song thrushes (Turdus philomelos) have appeared in a cutting of the old Slamannan Railway which has now been converted into a path.

The sides of the cutting are quite steep and the old railway was a single track, so the cutting is effecively a narrow ravine which, although 600 feet above sea level, is sheltered from the worst of the strong winds which can sometimes blow across the moors. The price of shelter is that the sun only peers over the southern side of the cutting fairly late in the morning, but by spring the temperature is usually not too bad even in shade.

So I'm happy to see these recent arrivals settling in and I hope they'll stay around the area.