Today I saw the Varied Thrush which has been hanging out in upstate Vermont since last weekend. I’ve been monitoring the email reports but reluctant to bother the couple whose backyard it is visiting. Hearing of their hospitality and realizing that I knew them from my affordable housing activities, I drove over today and sat in the truck, hoping to see the bird from the road.
Shortly, Don came out and invited me to come into the house to see the bird. So before I knew it, I was sitting on the bed in their bedroom, watching for the thrush out the window. June kept saying, “Be patient, it was here earlier. It will come back.” I was out of the snow and cold, watching Blue Jays and a host of winter birds hit the feeders, and having a wonderful conversation with June about our work together converting a Vermont Inn into a successful elderly housing unit.
The bird popped into view and was very accommodating, perching high in the tree, coming down to ground feed, and leaving and returning. It was bigger than I expected and looked very healthy. The colors are striking — but it’s thousands of miles from its normal winter location out west and one wonders where it will go, how it will survive. I guess that’s always the questions on vagrant birds so far off course.
The photos are poor because they are shot through several panes of cloudy glass (plus I am never good compensating for snow) — but who’s complaining? It was such a wonderful pre-Christmas gift and the couple feeding the VT (as they call it) could not be friendlier or more inviting. If you want to find out more, email Pat Folsom. It is a life bird for me and a beautiful sight with the newly fallen snow. I have posted photos here.