The woods at Discovery Park were quiet this morning. With temperatures near freezing and snow on the way, few birds were interested in loud dissertations on territory or romance. They were too busy eating. Those in groups had a chirp here and there, and one pileated woopecker let out a long cackle but most birds were quiet. The best way to see one was to watch for movement.
Still, the cold weather brought some beautiful visitors.
Varied thrushes are a species most birders are a little silly about. Their plumage is beautiful, with the blue-gray back and the bold orange stripes. Their call is haunting, and their habits mean that it's a treat to see one.
They prefer old forests, and generally only come to town when harsh weather pushes them out of the high country. They also delight in foiling all my attempts to photograph them. They tend to bounce out of the way whenever I aim my camera, and when I look up to reposition it, it often takes me a while to find them -- those orange stripes have an amazing way of blending in. So, I'm happy to have one in focus. Almost, anyway.