At first light one morning in the middle of June, a mistle thrush began singing nearby. His song consists of short rather sketchy phrases, not as melodious or mellow as a blackbird and nowhere near as tuneful as his cousin the song thrush.

He always seems to me to be practicing to perfect his song but never quite makes it!

It is pouring with rain with thunder occasionally rumbling in the distance, so he is living up to his old country name of 'stormcock', because he has a reputation of singing before and during a thunderstorm.

Then a couple of hours later I happened to glance upwards and was amazed to see a family of five mistle thrushes, two adults and three fledglings all perched on a chimney stack, the same one regularly favoured by my constantly singing garden blackbird.

All the birds were calmly preening and were probably glad to be out in the rain after enduring weeks of dry weather.

The family stayed for some time before flying off together.

This sighting was I believe quite unique and I will probably never witness another occasion such as this with a complete family perched in a relatively small space, taking time to carefully tend to their plumage and seemingly enjoy each others company while just about social distancing!