A gloater of berries

My latest Country Diary is about the Mistle Thrush. I tilted it towards its publication date – there’s a no-nonsense aspect to this species that eschews romance, or any kind of frippery. This is a species that “flings” its song as if its throwing down a gauntlet; or as Thomas Hardy said in The Darkling Thrush, a poem I’ve known by heart since my early teens, as if it’s flinging its soul. Certainly, there’s no holds barred.

Many thanks, as ever, to Paul Fleckney, editor of The Guardian’s Country Diary. And what a perfect photo!

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