[Tweeters] Varied Thrush Symphony

Joshua Glant josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 20:21:01 PDT 2015



Good evening Tweets,

Well, I also had a Varied Thrush experience this is morning. Fortunately, it was wonderful instead of sad.

When I woke up, I heard the flute-like song of the Varied Thrush through my open window. I got up and stood leaned on the windowsill for many minutes, listening to several thrushes calling and singing in their ethereal tones. The dawn light was just appearing in the forest. Also joining the chorus were robins, Song Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and both Pacific and Bewick's Wrens. A few flickers or maybe a Pileated might have been calling too, but I don't recall that.

There's an excerpt from a book that is relevant to my experience this morning:

Conspicuous with this species is its evocative, ethereal song. Males ascend to the tops of trees and utter their song while concealed in the foliage. “There is a legend that warns wanderers of Northwest forests to keep their heads when hearing the preternatural song of the Varied Thrush. If you are alone, if there is a veil of fog hanging from the coniferous branches at a certain slant, the song lulls you into a frame of mind that makes you susceptible to abduction by faeries. Evidently, they will caper you away to their own faery-world, where years may pass in the space of a normal hour.”(L.L Haupt, Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds.)

http://www.birdvancouver.com/b_varied_thrush.html

Fortunately, there was no fog hanging off the branches this morning!

A half an hour later, I heard a Hutton's Vireo singing outside the same window. I am extremely fortunate to live beside such a wonderful forest. It's got a ravine with a stream, and all sorts of trees of varying heights, including some real giants! I am proud of my slice of Subirdia; it's also sort of fun to say that I live next to a rainforest on an island.

As an aside, I am always amused by the bird-code for Dark-eyed Junco, DEJU. It recalls both "Demi-glace" and "jus", so I think of French sauces and cuisine when I hear it. Also pleasing are LEGO for Lesser Goldfinch, CORA for Common Raven (part of its Latin scientific name!) and of course, the great, if slightly immature, classic: Dickcissel. I'll let you imagine what the alpha code for THAT one is!

One last thing: has anyone seen the Mountain Bluebird at Marymoor recently? I need to decide what my birding plans for this weekend are.

Good birding, Joshua Glant

Mercer Island, WA

Josh.n.glant at gmail.com



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