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Whistler
Whistler in the TV series
Biography
Name Whistler
Species Grey heron
Gender Male
Mate Speedy
Offspring Various unnamed chicks
Appearances
First Book Appearance The Animals of Farthing Wood
First TV Appearance Whistler's Quarry
Voiced by Ron Moody (TV Series and "Spirit of Survial")
Peter Woodthrope ("The Further Adventures of the Animals of Farthing Wood")
Donald Arthur (Germany)
Fabrizio Manfredi (Italy)
Torgny Söderberg (Sweden)
Harald Mæle (Norway; Series 1 and 2)
Hallvard Lydvo (Norway; Series 3)

Whistler is a heron who appears in the books and the TV series. He joins the group of Farthing Wood animals during their journey to White Deer Park after meeting them at a quarry. His name derives from a hole in his wing from an old gunshot wound, which makes a whistling noise as the air passes through it when he flies.

Whistler has a very helpful nature, collecting fish for the other animals and saving Toad from a carp before he has even joined the group. He proves to be a very useful member of the group, carrying the smaller animals across the motorway, catching fish to keep his friends alive during the first winter in White Deer Park and eating a vast amount of rats when they try to take over the park.

In the TV series, Whistler frequently has trouble landing properly. He often lands in a heap on the ground or on top of one of the other animals, landing on top of Adder particularly frequently.

BooksEdit

The Animals of Farthing WoodEdit

Whistler meets the other animals when they arrive to drink at the quarry where he lives. He introduces himself and catches several fish for them the following morning. When Toad is caught by the carp, Whistler steps into the water and catches the fish, which eventually releases Toad from its mouth. Toad asks Whistler to put the fish back, which he happily does despite having wanted to that that particular fish for years. After this Whistler decides that he would like to travel with the other animals to White Deer Park, partially because nothing interesting happens at the quarry, but also because he hopes to meet a mate at the park. That night the animals have a celebration and Whistler is able to meet everyone personally.

After the animals cross the quiet side of the motorway, Whistler offers to carry the smaller animals across the busier side and out of harm's way. The animals agree to this and Whistler carries the fieldmice, the voles, the squirrels, the young hares and rabbits, Weasel, Mole and Toad across to the other side of the motorway. He later heads back to carry the uncooperative Adder across the road as well. When the animals see the naturalist Whistler joins Kestrel in putting on a spectacle for him in the air, which the human takes a great interest in. After the animals escape the church Whistler is sent back to collect the smaller animals who have been left behind and escorts them back to the group. Upon reaching the park Whistler immediately meets a female heron and brings her with him when the animals get together at the hollow a few weeks after arriving.

In the Grip of WinterEdit

Whistler and his mate are forced to catch crayfish during the winter, and Whistler offers to share his catch with the other carnivores in the Farthing Wood group. Whistler and the other birds help the other animals by finding food outside the park, and later transport food to the park from the town after a group of animals go on a successful expedition to scavenge there. When Toad leaves the park and gets captured, Whistler tries to rescue him but picks up the wrong jar which he drops onto the ground, allowing Paddock to escape. He then picks up the correct jar and takes it to the Warden so it can be opened by human hands. When the jar is opened Whistler carefully scoops Toad up in his beak and transports him back to the other animals.

Fox's FeudEdit

While Whistler and his mate are fishing in the stream, he sees a fox jerk to one side and cry in alarm, but nothing else happens so he and his mate take a nap. They awake to the sound of the fox howling in pain and Whistler realises that Adder has killed the wrong fox, so he immediately sets off to warn the other animals. Toad later tells Whistler about Adder's encounter with Scarface in which the snake has the end of his tail bitten off, and Whistler expresses his opinion that if more Farthing Wood animals had paired themselves off with the park's inhabitants then the feud may never have started. Whistler expresses this opinions several times later in the book and some of the animals take his advice and find themselves mates within the park.

The Siege of White Deer ParkEdit

When the animals start to suspect there may be a creature terrorising animals outside the park, Whistler and Tawny Owl begin to keep a lookout for it. When it becomes clear that the creature has entered the park, the birds start to search within the boundaries of the reserve. Whistler sees The Beast one day while he is fishing in the stream and tells Adder who is nearby, before flying off to tell the rest of the animals. When Adder learns of the Beast's lair by the stream, he tells Whistler who immediately flies away to inform Fox.

In the Path of the StormEdit

As spring arrives Whistler witnesses The Great Stag's death as he drinks from the stream and immediately heads off the tell the others what has happened. He later discovers that there are several dead animals by the stream and expresses his concern that there is no life there any longer. As he searches further afield for his food due to the lack of fish in the stream, Whistler discovers that humans have dumped several poisonous containers by the stream and this is what is causing the deaths. After the hurricane, Whistler is the first to see Trey under the tree and informs the other animals. He later discovers that the Warden has become aware that the stream has been poisoned and keeps the other animals up-to-date with the Warden's progress as he inspects the water and restocks the animals and plantlife.

Battle for the ParkEdit

By this point Whistler has become quite old and unable to fly long distances because of his age. He spends most of his time by the stream, monitoring the fish to ensure that they multiply sufficiently after the stream was poisoned the previous year. When some of the animals go missing from the park, Fox asks Whistler to airlift Weasel out of the new reserve and after practising with a stick first, Whistler carries Weasel back to White Deer Park. After the rats attack the inhabitants of the pond, Whistler arrives and finds Toad, who has been fatally injured by Bully. At Toad's request Whistler carries Toad to the Hollow and lays him down, but he dies soon after. During the final battle against the rats, Whistler stands beside the advancing rats and spears them with his bill. After the battle, Whistler notices a new fence has been set up on the downland outside the reserve and Dash later discovers that the two reserves have been combined.

AppearancesEdit

Books

TV series

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