Ink sketch with W&N watercolour on DalerRowney 220gsm heavy-duty sketching paper
An Olive Thrush (Turdus olivaceus) in my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa) captured with a quick sketch. I just love watching these busy birds flipping leaves around in their search for a tit-bit. One of their favourite foods is snails, so my garden is fairly snail-free. I’m just wondering if they eat slugs, because I often see the slimy trails all over my patio and pathways, obviously escaping this keen-eyed predator.
The Red-chested Cuckoo (Piet-my-Vrou) is particularly fond of using this Thrush’s nest as host for its own eggs, clearing out any eggs the Thrush has laid and depositing her single egg to be reared by the Thrush. I’ve witnessed this and also seen as the Thrush scurries around madly trying to keep up feeding a chick that is three times her size!
Endemic to Southern Africa, with the bulk of its distribution centered on South Africa’s eastern and southern coast extending to Limpopo Province and Lesotho, with a smaller population in Zimbabwe’s eastern highlands. It generally prefers evergreen forest, forest edges, and suburban and rural gardens, in fact it is the 8th most common bird in Cape Town. It also occupies alien Acacia thickets and commercial orchards.
It mainly eats earthworms supplemented with insects, other invertebrates and fallen fruit, doing most of its foraging on the ground, flicking through leaf litter in search of prey. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:
18th July 2012 – FEATURED in “Country Bumpkin”
19th July 2012 – FEATURED in “The Birds”