White's Thrush - Zoothera aurea

On Friday 1 October 2004 Magnus Robb was recording calls of migratory birds in the Kunstenaarsduinen (some dunes south of IJmuiden, Noord-Holland). In a small bush he noticed a large bird which looked like a Woodcock or a Sparrow-hawk in a split second. It had a black-and-white pattern on the underwing and that made him realise it could very well be a White's Thrush Zoothera aurea (formery known as Zoothera dauma)! He warned the Dutch Birdline and in less than an hour about 3 birders arrived. Within minutes they saw the White's Thrush too and confirmed the identification. In the next hours till dark a large crowd gathered to see it. For about 4-5 times the bird was flushed, then it flew some distance in front of all the present birders, to return in it's favourite bush. I was so lucky to see it twice perched on a branch and flying very close-by, showing all of it's diagnostic characters!

This still is taken from a video sequence by Sander van der Water; the full sequence can be seen on the Dutch Birding Jaaroverzicht 2004 by Plomp Digital Video.
More details can be obtained on www.natuurdigitaal.nl

The 16 previous records were in 13 October 1931 (trapped), 2 October 1934 (taken by cat), 14 October 1934 (collected), 18 September 1947 (wire victim), 25 September 1949 (wire victim), 9 April 1953 (found dead), 2 December 1955 (dead, prey of Sparrow-hawk), 6 October 1963 (window victim), 13 October 1971 (light-house victim and taken by cat), 3 October 1972 (window victim, died later), 8 September 1974 (window victim), 24 October 1986 (window victim), 17 March 1988 (singing!), 9 April 1993 (flying past), 10 October 2003 (trapped, ringed and released) and 12 October 2003 (flying past). This will be the first twitchable one (cf Zeldzame vogels van Nederland / Rare Birds of the Netherlands by A.B. van den Berg & C.A.W. Bosman, 2001).

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