turdus (thrush) philomelos (for Philomela, daughter of Pandion, king of Athens, who was violated by her brother-in-law Tereus and changed into a nightingale)
Sunday, April 21, 2019 — 9:45 am
Böblingen, Germany — hiking trails through the woods along the Panzerstrasse
The woods in Germany are absolutely crawling with Gray Red-backed Voles. Wherever there was piles of leaves, there were sure to be several voles scurrying about. They are less wary than North American voles, at least in my experience. I kept hearing them shuffling through the leaves and looking to see if they were ground birds. I finally decided to take a good look. In a patch of leaves about eight feet by eight feet, there must have been 12 voles running about. As I watched for an opportunity to photograph one of them, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye on the other side of the path.
I turned and saw a Song Thrush perched on a stick. I knew what it was because, when I’d studied the field guides prior to my trip, I noticed that it looked a lot like North American spotted thrushes. I snapped this photo. A second later, the bird hopped down to the ground, then took off into the woods. I had it in view for maybe five seconds.