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#ABArare – Mistle Thrush – New Brunswick

On Saturday, December 9, Peter Gadd in Miramichi, New Brunswick, photographed an apparent Mistle Thrush feeding on Mountain Ash berries in their yard. This is not only a 1st record for New Brunswick and Canada, but it is a potential 1st ABA Area record of this wide-ranging Eurasian Turdus thrush.

Miramichi is on the central coast of New Brunswick. The closest cities are Quebec City, Quebec, and Portland, Maine. It is about 6.5 hours by car from either. EDIT: Note that some commenters have suggested Moncton, 90km south of Miramichi, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, as places to start as well. The homeowners, Peter and Deana Gadd, are birder-friendly. Their address can be found on this post on the New Brunswick listserv. Like many vagrant thrushes, it is likely that this bird is moving around with local flocks of frugiverous birds and could be anywhere in the vicinity. Please respect private property.

Mistle Thrush is the largest species of thrush in Eurasia, a bit larger, even, than our familiar American Robin. The species consists of three subspecies, of which the nominate subspecies, which breeds in northern Europe, is the most likely to appear in North America.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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  • Rick Whitman

    Air Canada has several daily, direct flights from both Toronto and Montreal into Moncton, New Brunswick, as well as the reverse. Moncton is 90 km from Miramichi.

  • Tony Leukering

    I wonder if Jack will “turn out the lights” in Miramichi.

    [For those not getting it, check out the last line in “Songs From the Wood.”]

    • Tony Leukering

      Sorry, meant “Jack in the Green.”

  • Stuart Tingley

    Also there are daily direct flights from Newark and Boston to Halifax, NS, which is only 4 hours from the bird.

  • fm5050

    You can also fly to Fredericton, NB, via Toronto, about 2 hrs from Miramichi.

  • Irene Doyle

    Bathurst also has a large enough airport which is 3/4 hour from Miramichi by car. and bird still there Monday Dec 11th

  • Alain Clavette

    ??? Moncton is an hour and half away and Halifax international airport is 4 hours away or so

    • Stuart Tingley

      If coming from the eastern USA flying to Halifax can be 100’s of dollars cheaper than Moncton.

  • Diane

    Be aware that forecasted inclement weather may cause flight delays and dangerous roads:
    https ://

  • Pingback: Rare Bird Alert: December 15, 2017 « ABA Blog()

  • Liz

    I drove up from Long Island, NY. Albeit, a 12 hr trip each way, it was quite easy and a memorable adventure. Weather was crappy going back, but we took our time. Well worth it!!

  • Bruce Kirkland

    The mega-rare Mistle Thrush is still present, including today (Thursday, Dec. 21), in Miramichi, New Brunswick. I saw it early on Monday am after flying in to Moncton from Toronto on Sunday night and driving north for 140 km. Thanks to original finder Peter Gadd’s new information, there is now an alternate and nearby address to search, in addition to the Gadd’s original address, where the thrush is spending less time daily than in previous days. In both locations, the Mountain Ash trees which the thrush favours are loaded with berries. So this active bird could hang in for a while yet, even if seeking it out is slightly more of a challenge. Check out Gadd’s almost daily postings on the New Brunswick birding site, accessible through the ABA Birding News. Both addresses can be found there — and on the local websites and — along with continuing updated info. Imbued with Maritime hospitality, Peter and Deana Gadd are exceptionally bird and birder friendly.

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