Garden News

Song Thrushes - 5 May 2017

Song thrushSong thrushes are in full voice all over the Gardens. Their fluty whistle, repeating each phrase twice, can be heard ringing out where they sing from high perches, sometimes in the open, sometimes concealed. In the early mornings they can be seen foraging on the lawns for worms or picking over leaves looking for snails on which to feed their growing broods. Later in the day you are more likely to encounter them in shady spots along the paths, where they quickly make for cover when disturbed. They are one of two species of thrush found in the Gardens; the other is the Mistle thrush, a larger, greyer and more upright bird with bigger and more prominent  spots on its breast.

P1240122Song thrushes are known for their liking for snails. In order to extract their prey they will bash the snail against some hard object to break them apart. Sometimes they find a stone, known as an anvil, to which they repeatedly take their prey, resulting in a mass of broken empty shells lying around. I recently found one of these, not at Exbury - the first I had ever seen.

Song thrushes have been declining in recent years so it is really good that the population at Exbury seems to be thriving.

‘We recently had some friends from London to visit and were looking for something to entertain our young children for the day. We decided to give Exbury Gardens a try and I thought it was wonderful. We had Sunday lunch in the restaurant and the food was far superior to other local attractions so compliments to the chef. Walking through the gardens was beautiful with lots of little pathways to explore. I have lived in the Romsey area for many years and always thought Exbury was a little out of the way but it only took me 20 minutes from the motorway. We will definitely be a regular visitor from now on.’

Philip Moulds, New Forest

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