Dusky thrush lures bird spotters from across Europe to The Kempen

Over the weekend ornithologists from across Europe flocked to the municipality of Oud-Turnhout in the Kempen area of Antwerp  Province. They did so in the hope of catching a glimpse of the dusky thrush, a bird that is rarely seen in Western Europe. Bird spotters travelled from as far afield as England and Germany in the hope of seeing the bird. Ornithologist Gerald Driessens of Natuurpunt told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp that “You would normally have to travel the Eastern Siberia in order to see this bird”. 


A dusky thrush was first spotted in Oud-Turnhout on 1 January. Natuurpunt’s Gerald Driessens told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp’s morning magazine programme ‘Start je dag’ that you normally have to travel to Siberia or East Asia in order to see a dusky thrush.        

He added “So it is logical that bird spotters from all over Europe have come here for the dusky thrush”.

"It is fantastic to see a rare dusky thrush in a winter setting”. 

A bird that has lost its way?

"I assume that the dusky thrush is still in Oud-Turnhout. You sometimes have to wait a while, but it always reappears at the same place. If he has gone somewhere a couple of kilometres away we might not every see him again”.  

"Thrushes are long distance migrators. There easily cover distances of several thousand kilometres. Birds that get lost are normally young birds that haven’t yet learned their migration patterns. However, let us be clear this brown thrush is an adult bird”.  

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