Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Varied Thrush, Discovery Park

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.


Distinctive Visions said...

Wow. I've seen these little guys around our apartment off and on in Federal Way area. They are fascinating to watch and very bossy with the other birds that stop by our feeders.

Ivan Phillipsen said...

I love varied thrushes! I saw one bopping around town with some robins a couple weeks ago and tried to get a photo with my phone. Ha-ha... No chance.

Gwench said...

There was a "pair/couple" of Varied Thrush in my backyard. They weren't moving so I walked over and they just stood there and let me pet them!!! I have a video of it on youtube. birds let me feed them