* 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.