Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Varied Thrush at National Butterfly Center, 11/7/18

Yesterday, after working the Texas Butterfly Festival for a couple of days, I decided to take it easy and get some stuff done at home.  But the WhatsApp dinged and it turned out a couple of local birders had found a Varied Thrush at the National Butterfly Center south of Mission.  There are only three previous Varied Thrush records for the Valley and none that I can remember while I've been down here.  So I grabbed the camera and binocs and raced over.  I put in three hours at the feeding station where the bird had been observed and missed it the only time it came in.  So I ran over again today and after missing the bird a couple more times (I need to work on my attention span) I finally got some shots of this northwestern thrush.  Though Varied Thrush breeds in the Pacific Northwest and winters along the coast to California, they have a tendency to wander all over the country.  Texas has more than forty records.  It was my 396th species for Hidalgo County.

While waiting for the Varied Thrush a couple of their Mexican cousins, the Clay-colored Thrush, came in for a drink.

After getting some satisfactory photos I headed for home, and just as I arrived, the WhatsApp dinged again.  Ron Weeks had just found a Plumbeous Vireo at Rose Lawn Cemetery in McAlllen.  Being that was another species I have never seen in the RGV, I forsook the nap I was looking forward to, and got back in the car and headed back down the freeway.  I spent two hours but could not relocate the Plumbeous Vireo in the cemetery.  But I did find this surprise Wood Thrush.

So that makes three different thrushes from three different corners of North America.  Gotta love living in the Valley.

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