Varied Thrush In The Twin Cities

There's so much birdy goodness on right now, I'm too distracted to blog. I am currently surrounded by an explosion of winter finches which I started calling Redpollapalooza and another reader calls Siskagogo. I'll have more photos of that later.

As a matter of fact...I have started this particular blog entry about five times, but keep getting distracted by the winter finch activity. Focus, Sharon, focus!

We have had an unusual bird show up near where I volunteer at The Raptor Center. A neighborhood full of crab apples and cherries that several flocks of robins have been feeding on. Mixed in with those robins is a bird called a varied thrush.

This is a bird that is typically found in Pacific Northwest--it's a common bird for Born Again Bird Watcher (it's on the homepage of his redesigned site). But every winter there are reports of them popping up all over the US. It seems we always have at east one in Minnesota, and since this one was so close to where I live, I took a jaunt out to see it.

When I first arrived the trees were full of birds like the cedar waxwing above. We also found redpolls and pine siskins and after waiting about a half hour, the varied thrush showed up.

While waiting, I got to meet Michael who started the Facebook Twin Cities Birding Group. He seems like a cool guy and certainly has the best groomed facial hair of any birder I have ever met (sorry, Kenn).

We did have a great moment with a UPS guy while watching the thrush. He pulled up to ask what we were looking at. I let him see the thrush through my scope--he was impressed. He then asked how much longer we were going to watch because he had to turn his truck in front of us and it might scare the bird. We told him that we appreciated that he asked, but we realized he had a job to do and could go ahead. He moved slowly in his turn and the thrush shifted its position in the tree, but stayed.

Thank you, random UPS man, for being so thoughtful to birders!