Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Varied Thrush, part two

After a mad dash on October 22, a more leisurely* trip was in order. Having finally slept like a rock, slept in late, and tended several batches of neighborhood creatures, one more trip to CMO seemed like a good idea - if the Varied Thrush stuck, more looks at a life bird would be icing on yesterday's cake.

* in this case, there was also an attempt to snag the wayward San Antonio racing pigeon, but it had superior evasive maneuvers - the alternate title for the post was "outsmarted by a pigeon" but the photos wouldn't be nearly so exciting

Upon arrival at just about 2 pm, a Northern Mockingbird chased a dark blur away from the water; the thrush was at least present! Settling in on the bench and getting distracted by Common Mestra antics was next on the agenda - sorry, no photos of the Common Mestras.

Varied Thrush, as seen from the bench.

Between intermittent pigeon antics and Varied Thrush sightings, the afternoon was a lovely combination of Western Scrub Jay visits, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher scolding (a pair were disturbed, but I'm not sure by what), and constant Pyrrhuloxia chipping. Goldfinches and siskins were also about. One black-necked garter snake was in the big tank. Very nice to see!

Several minutes of observation came from the other side of the water feature - the behavior was very reminiscent of the Swainson's Warbler from the spring; kicking, shuffling, flipping leaves and bark and mulch and generally fussing around in less than photogenic ways. There are dark, leafy blurs as evidence of this behavior, but they're a challenge to decipher.

Stunning markings are effective camouflage in dappled shade.

This is one lucky bird. Welcome to the oasis, buddy.

Extended eyeliner; this photo is for Tony.

Flight feathers are amazing from all angles.

The thrush was still present at 4 pm, when I headed out, and it headed back into the shade to kick around the mulch again.

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