|Image courtesy Chris Lipscombe|
Like many other birds they are in moult, shedding their feathers bit by bit and waiting while a new set grows in. In spring they have mates to find, territories to defend and young to feed, but now the apex of their year is over, and they need to have a full set of new feathers to get them through winter. And so they skulk about, trying not to draw attention to themselves while their ability to fly is so compromised. Robins sing all year, but we'll hear little from the blackbirds again until winter has passed.