Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Harbinger of Winter

Varied Thrush Close Up
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
It's cold here today. We started out at 26 degrees but it's gotten balmy now -- it's like 43 degrees. Before you laugh at my wimpiness, I'll remind you that this is California and we don't do cold here!

But, the Varied Thurshes like it just fine. When I walked to my car today at noon, there were 4-8 of them in the woods near the cars. They were wary of me but if I stayed hidden behind my car and didn't move quickly, they were calm.

Last winter, the Varied Thursh was a lifebird for me. I saw a pair of them in my backyard. I knew they were something I'd never seen before and with binoculars in one hand and my Peterson guide in the other, I figured out what they were. I was so proud of myself.

A week later, my husband told me there was a dead bird in the garden. I went and checked and it was one of the Varied Thrushes. It was in the lavender bed near my living room windows so it was probably a window strike. So sad. I saw the other one for the rest of the winter alone.

It was so nice to see so many together near the school today. I saw one on the golf course last week, near my house. I wonder if it is the same one from last year?

(So, how much do I love my new camera? A LOT! Last summer, I took this picture of a Varied Thrush -- it was the best I could do because I couldn't get closer to the bird. Not anymore!

Varied Thrush )


LauraHinNJ said...

Beautiful birds! Where do they spend the summer months?

I'm very impressed with your bird pics (and those of others that have new cameras lately) - makes me want to drag out the big lens I have that weighs a ton!

Liza Lee Miller said...

Thanks! We saw some in the Sierra foothills last summer -- so I know they go there. Hmmm. (Grabbing Sibley . . . ) Sibley says they go NORTH in the Summer -- Year round in far northen California and Oregon and Summer Only in Canada and Alaska.

But, as I said, we saw them in Calaveras in August! That's pretty early for migration.

I'm just so glad that this camera has worked out! It is doing just what I want it to do. Now, if I could only figure out shutter speeds and ISOs and all that good stuff, I'd have more control!