The Varied Thrush is a close relative of the more locally common American Robin, and looks much like a robin dressed as a pumpkin for Halloween. Bright orange colours make this bird really stand out in a crowd. The bird I was heading out to look for was a male bird, so I'd really be getting to see the bird in it's full glory.
I headed down with Bruce Cohen, who didn't want me to get a year bird on him, to the house in Barry County, Mi, where the bird had been reported frequenting the feeders. The owners had generously invited interested birders to park in their drive to watch for the bird, and had already facilitated some fabulous views for a number of birders by doing so. Having a bunch of (creepy looking?) people sitting in your yard staring at your house with binoculars could be considered an imposition by some, so it really is appreciated when people open up their private space in this way. We parked up behind another optic wielding birder in front and started to monitor the area for our ginger vagrant. Bruce, as always parked so that the feeders were on his side of the car, forcing me to either look through curved glass or lean over on his shoulder. I can't decide if he wanted me to miss the bird, or was hoping for a sneaky cuddle.
The Feeders were buzzing with activity, and the first few minutes were spent enjoying the antics of Blue Jays, Dark-eyed Juncos, American Tree Sparrows, Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers and Black-capped Chickadees.
|American Tree Sparrow and Dark-eyed Juncos|
|American Tree Sparrows and Tufted Titmouse|
|Blue Jay and Northern Cardinal|
The American Tree Sparrows were ever present, and I always try to make the most of these birds before they leave at the end of winter.
|American Tree Sparrow|