At my folks for Christmas, and showing them my copy of Reliquiæ 3 I received a week earlier for my birthday.
My dad turns to On the Sadness of Thrushes by EJ Moor:
“This isn’t right, you don’t get mistletoe thrushes in the spring, they’re wintering birds in the UK”.
I shrug my shoulders. My dad was a keen birder when he grew up (and nest-rustler, in a time when such a pursuit was not seen negatively) on the Lincolnshire coast, so I trust his word. But then, I find it unlikely that Reliquiæ would be printing a mistruth.
A quick web search suggests that yes, missel thrushes are present throughout the year. But then, a more specific search (missel thrush overwintering scandinavia), and there it is: “A few Scandinavian and northern European Mistle Thrushes winter in the UK, especially down the east coast.” Maybe my dad got his information not from some text book, but through his own witnessing, perhaps bolstered by asking other Grimbarians.
So, two truths, and both in some way anecdotal. A glimmer of seasonal joy: to learn something new about British birds; and to tap my dad’s all-too-infrequently-shared knowledge.
“Reliquiæ is an annual journal of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, translations and visual art, edited by Autumn Richardson & Richard Skelton.” For more information, and to order Reliquiæ 3, visit http://www.corbelstonepress.com/reliquiae-3.htm
Thanks to Corbel Stone Press to allow use of the text from Reliquiæ