Working in a garden the other day, I was surprised to see a white-headed blackbird (Turdus merula). I shouldn’t have been surprised, because blackbirds with white heads are not especially uncommon. This one was a male and looked very healthy, if a little peculiar. The yellow beak does look better next to black feathers rather than white ones.
When blackbirds have white feathers, rather than being white all over, it’s referred to as leucism. All-white birds are albino.
This autumn should be a good one for blackbirds, since almost every apple tree I’ve seen is so heavy with fruit that many branches reach the ground and the fallen fruit will provide a feast for blackbirds, as well as for other creatures like hedgehogs. If ever a blackbird could get fed up of apples, then this year might be the one for that to happen.
In the vegetable garden, the frogs and toads continue to make us jump as we come across them sheltering under plants or in the ground. Digging up potatoes the other day, revealed a young toad (Bufo bufo) hiding beneath the moist soil - it was lucky to avoid the tines of the fork and be carefully relocated to the other side of the garden, by the pond, where no digging is carried out. Before we moved it, we paused to admire its beautiful eyes which were a rich reddish-brown and looked very much like polished red Tiger’s Eye gem stones.
The toad, probably very much annoyed at being woken up and taken from its bed.
More on blackbirds