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At 7.10 am it was barely light, but from high in a cherry tree, easily piercing the double glazing of my living room window, a Mistle thrush exuberantly proclaimed his return. He sang long and loud for at least the next hour before crossing the building to announce his presence from the woodland edge behind us. I was out for most of the day, but arriving home at 5 pm, again in the fading light, he was back in the same place reinforcing his presence.

Mistle thrush singing from ash tree

Mistle thrush singing from ash tree 

I could barely see him, so much to dark to photograph him, so the photograph is one from last year that I took of a bird in the neighbouring tree that arrived here on a similar date and behaved in a very similar way. I would like to believe it was the same bird returning to reclaim his breeding territory, especially as the Mistle thrush has moved from the amber list to red-listed status as a bird of conservation concern, with 170,000 breeding territories recorded.

Mistle thrushes are early nesters and many nests are built in late February. typically they favour sites in woodland as high as 30ft up on the top of a snapped-off tree. Each pair raises two or occasionally three broods and they may sometimes use the same nest. To my knowledge at least one pair bred successfully here on Bryn Euryn last year and similarly the previous year, so this is clearly a well-established breeding site – fingers crossed for this year too.

Read more about the Mistle thrush here.