Well, he took me at my word and I received this very kind email from him over the weekend:
Thanks for the reply, Iain. I’ve been trying to record the bird every morning since!
I’ve never before realised how much background noise there is in urban New Zealand. Cars on weekdays, for a start, but we’ve also had powerful westerly winds. My first series of recordings was a list of failures.
Finally, this morning I slipped outside with my wife’s little digital recorder, and waited for the specific “pretty bird” and cat noises that our thrush makes. I think it took about five minutes of recording before he cooperated.
I’ve also taken a picture of him. Having seen yours, my shot of him from below, taken with a hand-held pocket Panasonic zoomed to maximum (300mm), is somewhat uninspiring. If you tip your head to one side and half close one eye you can almost tell he’s a thrush. There’s a perfectly good branch, but he seems to be sitting on it sideways. I’ll try to do better.
Thanks again. This has been very stimulating; foragesofsand is quite magnificent, and I’ve only scratched the surface!
"Somewhat uninspiring"? Not at all! Great shot, I would say. Ah how jealous I am of that blue sky as I sit here looking at the bleak grey of a Monday morning in Hatfield..
(Steve: I amplified the sound by 200%)
And now here's a section slowed down to 30% of original speed.
Beautiful. Steve, thank you so much for sending this over. We look forward to seeing and hearing more!