Thrush flight behaviour?

Hello, since winter has started to arrive, the blackbirds in my area have started performing a distinctive flight. Instead of their usual direct and fast ‘thrush’ flight, they seem to be circling a few times over an area then landing again on the ground. My guess is that they are scouting for berries but I am really not sure. Has anyone observed this?
Thanks, Ellis  

  • Have you considered that there may be local influences which have affected the localised behaviour you are observing? Perhaps a raptor looking out, which you have yet to observe? Certainly modifies the actions of smaller birds. I have observed multiple blackbirds giving chase to/mobbing a goshawk. The blackbirds (in that instance) were definitely exhibiting direct and fast flight. But perhaps un-prey like.
  • In reply to tuwit:

    That’s also what I thought might be occurring. We do have plenty of sparrowhawks around here and the blackbirds go mental at the sight of one. I’ll have a look next time this happens for any predators
  • Migrant blackbirds tend, on the whole, to be more skittish due to fear of being shot. Likely, they are using caution before settling somewhere.
  • This may be migrant birds arriving to escape harsher weather in other areas and sussing out the food situation before settling in an area

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Along with the other possible reasons, as well as a raptor, there could be a cat lurking close by giving the blackbirds cause for concern.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • We managed to get out to our local reserve yesterday afternoon for the last hour or so of daylight and we noticed that the Thrushe,mainly Redwings, were performing in a similar manner to what Ellis has described. Considering the light was fading and remembering what a friend from a local ringing group told us about Redwings being one of the first birds to go to roost we thought maybe that maybe that could explain their behaviour. Maybe they were making sure the roost area was safe for the night. Not sure if this explains Ellis's problem but I thought it was worth a mention.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    That’s great that you noticed what I was on about. I stood at sunset with my binoculars today and saw a flock of about 50 going to roost
  • In reply to Mike B:

    There are a few cats around my estate, one of them is especially nasty
  • In reply to ellis187:

    ellis187 said:
    one of them is especially nasty

    "Parenting" issues probably. Sad, and increasingly common.

    Very glad you're not alone re the thrush flight behaviour. Very interesting that.

    Dave 

  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Dave - CH said:

    ellis187 said:
    one of them is especially nasty

    "Parenting" issues probably. Sad, and increasingly common.

    Very glad you're not alone re the thrush flight behaviour. Very interesting that.

    Dave 

    Or even feral.

    I've seen cats that folk have taken in and they just don't want to know human contact.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler