Song Thrush Anting


8.30 p.m. The brown ants that nest under the paving stones at the end of the drive are running around excitedly on this still, warm summer evening, as they do when the flying ants (the queens and the males) are preparing to take off on their nuptial flights. This activity has attracted a song thrush which is sitting with its tail bent beneath it, enjoying an anting session.


With all the recent ant activity, I was thinking the other day that it’s a long time since I saw this behaviour; in fact this might be the first time that I’ve actually seen it in real life, rather than in a wildlife documentary.

After the song thrush had finished, I went out to take a closer look at the ants and there were no winged ants amongst them. Perhaps they took flight earlier in the day, or perhaps this was a false alarm from overexcited worker ants.

When I first uploaded this post, I identified it as a mistle thrush but the arrow-shaped spots show that it’s a song thrush.

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