Hi all, apologies no media to share, but twice today I've seen a bird I can't place in Central London. I get into Euston Station in the mornings, and work on Russell Square. Walking from the station this morning I saw a quarter of birds fly overhead. I would estimate size to be approximate to a feral pigeon, maybe a tad smaller. They flew with a halting sort of swooping gait. As they flew over they were calling, and it was a rasping screech (best thing way I can describe it) every few seconds. Definitely not 'birdsong'.
Just now going out for lunch i saw one of the same birds in Russell Square. It sat high in a tree, with that same rasping call, and then flew directly overhead.
The size and shape make me think of either a jay or GS Woodpecker, but the call doesn't match for the latter, and I can't imagine 4 jays coming into central London. I think colour wise it was a mix of black, white and cream, but I can't bee 100% sure. Any ideas?
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Jay's do often move around in groups at this time of year and Russell Square is only, what, 1.5 km from Regent's Park? Perhaps a local could say how common they are in that area? Another option (perhaps more likely as it's a bird that will readily use urban areas providing there is a scattering or avenue of trees) would be Mistle Thrush which can sound very raspy especially when they are having a confrontation (e.g. 2 pairs contesting a territory or chasing other birds from favoured berry bushes). Also they often look surprisingly big (compared to, say, other thrushes). www.xeno-canto.org/417757
In reply to Alan.:
In reply to melodious:
Certainly a bit odd but we are getting into the time of year to see groups of Jays chasing each other around as they set up for the breeding season. If you see them again look out for the presence or absence of a white underwing; if the birds were Mistle Thrushes it's usually obvious, often eye-catching. Mistle Thrushes also have white corners to the tail, again quite an obvious feature particularly on birds spreading their tails as they come in to land, whereas Jays have a very obvious white rump.
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