Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Varied Thrush- Guelph!

Yesterday Ken tipped me off about a report of a female Varied Thrush at the Guelph Lake dam that Andrew Bailey found.  This is a western species that breeds from Alaska through BC and down into the US and winters in California.  Having missed one that showed up in Fergus earlier this year, I jumped at another chance to get this bird!

I woke up early and decided to go for it before work.  The report said it was at the end of the dam by the road, which I took to mean that it was on the far side of the dam.  So I trudged through the snow and bitter cold and came across a large flock of cedar waxwings and robins feasting on the abundant berry crop.  Since Varied Thrush feed on berries in the winter, I thought I was in the right spot and searched here for about 45 minutes to no avail.

I then left and headed back to the car.  At the car it dawned on me that maybe they meant by the main road instead of the road that runs along the dam.  So I checked around some shrubbery for 5 minutes, spotting a red-bellied woodpecker in the process.  I heard the woodpecker call behind me and turned to see the Varied Thrush perched at the top of a crab apple tree! So exciting!

I snapped a few photos and would have got better ones, but a group of birders had showed up and I didn't want to risk scaring it off before they had a good look.  Besides, I had to get to work!

Isn't she beautiful! Female Varied Thrush.

Varied Thrush eating crab apples.
Guelph Lake Dam that looks cold! I would have stayed in California.
Cedar Waxwing. Common, but a looker nonetheless!

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