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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Thrushes/Turdidae

Thrush Nightingale/Luscinia luscinia - Adult

L 15-17 cm. The nightingale of N and E Europe, where a less vocally pleasing substitute for the ‘real’ nightingale of W and S Europe. Breeds in thick, damp, shady deciduous forest, often in hazel stands, shrubbery and waterside scrub; also in thickly wooded parks, gardens. Summer visitor, winters in Africa. Vagrant in Britain (Apr-Jun, Aug-Oct).
IDENTIFICATION: Confusingly like Nightingale. On average somewhat less reddish-brown on tail and rump, a shade greyer brown on back, and as a rule has rather distinct grey vermiculation on lower throat/breast (but none of these features is absolute or easy to judge in field).
VOICE: Lacks conspicuous calls. Alarm a piercing, ventriloquial, straight whistle, ‘ihp’ (like alarm of Collared Flycatcher), also a creaking hard ‘errrr’. Song more loud than beautiful (still remarkable!), series of tongue-clicking and gurgling notes, the verses often introduced by a few pensive sharp whistles. Audible for kilometres on still nights.

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