Varied Thrush in Wilton – Dec 9

9 12 2008
Shot through window pane - Jim Meinhold

Varied Thrush - Jim Meinhold

Jim Meinhold, a member of Team Wilton from the Westport Christmas Bird Count discovered a very rare Varied Thrush (range map here) coming to his feeder in Wilton Connecticut. We were sympathising about the difficulty of getting decent pictures of birds when I spoke to him earlier today. Perhaps at some point I’ll post a few of my worst digiscoped pics and we can have an identification challenge (i’ll have to think of a suitable prize). Anyway, the picture he snapped (above) is fine in my opinion, it certainly shows an identifiable Varied Thrush which is the key thing – hard to be sure from the picture for sure but it looks well marked so I assume that it’s a male? Great find Jim hopefully we can keep him around for the Christmas Bird Count. If not, you’ll have to find us something even better 😉 Apparently the bird was not seen after 2:30pm despite some people looking for it. Jim said he will update the listserve if it reappears.

Dec 10 Update

OK I don’t usually twitch birds but this was a lifer for me and was 10 minutes drive away (as long as you don’t hit commuter traffic on Rt7 – I did and it was painful). After a 3 hour wait I managed to get a sighting of the bird this morning. The bird is pretty skittish and we only had brief but satisfying views of the bird as it flew in to one of the trees above the feeder area. The bird did not touch down at the feeders although Jim had scattered both seed and dried fruit to entice him in. An exquisite bird and well and truly worth the wait. Hopefully it’ll settle in to a more regular routine otherwise I’d advise clearing your schedule before you head for the bird. Thanks again Jim for the hospitality and timely reporting of this super bird.