Monday, 31 January 2011

Leucistic Blackbird

I wasn't going to post today but when I looked out of my window this afternoon I saw a Leucistic Blackbird on my garden fence.  Leucism is a symptom of reduced pigmentation in humans and animals, and it looked just as if someone had thrown an ice cream cornet over it, or even worse, that another bird had pooped on it from above!  The bird's head was almost pure white with the characteristic orange Blackbird beak, and its body had some patches of white on top with mainly dark under parts.

First I went for my binoculars to get a better look and then, as it was staying around for a bit, I went for my camera.  I took a few shots through our mucky patio windows just to get something, before sneaking outside for a better shot.  Unfortunately, by the time I'd got outside the bird had flown up into the hawthorn tree and was more diificult to see.  When I moved a little closer it flew into the next door neighbours' garden and that was the end of that!  I waited for another 15 minutes or so, but it didn't come back.

I've seen a bird like this before but a long way off on a neighbours' roof, and I can't be certain it was the same one -  but it probably was because there can't be too many around here. None of the pictures I took of it are any good having been quickly shot through windows:

The other birds in my garden today were:
  • Blackbird (up to seven at once)
  • Song Thrush
  • Starling
  • House Sparrow
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Blue Tit
  • Coal Tit
  • Great Tit
  • Woodpigeon
  • Collared Dove
Where were this lot when I was doing the Big Garden Birdwatch yesterday?


  1. I posted this message on the Manchester Birding Forum and got the messages shown below:

    I'm pretty sure I saw a leucistic blackbird in my garden in Tyldesley today. Some poor photos on my blog, address below. Any comments welcome, especially if I'm wrong.

  2. Looks like one to me Martyn. I saw one very similar to this on Astley Moss last year.

    Re-posted here on behalf of Nick Isherwood


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