Bird of the Day: Mistle Thrush

We only have song thrushes here through the year, so it’s always a real treat to see and hear these large winter visitors chakka-chakka in the holly and hawthorn trees. I have a lot of windfall apples in my garden and I keep hoping the redwings and fieldfares will visit as well as the blackbirds and thrushes but as yet they have only made it as far as the mature copper beech in my boundary hedge.

Mistle thrushes have an understated beauty with their brown and cream plumage, and spotted breast. Last year I found some beautiful – but rather decrepit – Victorian gold-painted wooden frames in an antique shop and thought they would be perfect for some book plates I’d recently bought from eBay. I took them to Newgate Gallery on one of my regular [pre-Covid] London trips and they framed them beautifully.

The mistle thrush I’ve painted is in a characteristic standing pose. The earth paints like ochre and umber are always ‘muddier’ than the higher grade pigments and it’s more difficult to get them to flow smoothly on the paper, but I love the colours.

The painting is for sale in my Etsy Shop.

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