I spent a wonderful afternoon sitting in a willow tree in Philly’s Roosevelt Park (incongruously right across the street from all the sports stadiums, but a great birdwatching location nonetheless). I had my binoculars and one hand and cell phone in the other, talking to a good friend while keeping an eye on the birds. The Bicknell’s Thrush slowly crept by about half an hour into the conversation; I sat very, very still and it walked right under me. It just didn’t look like any thrush I’ve seen – I don’t carry field guides when I go birdwatching so I didn’t look it up right then, but I made a mental note of the field marks and checked when I got home. And it looks a lot like all the other spot-breasted thrushes, but not…quite…like them. Unmistakably a Bicknell’s. Yay!
(In honor of this life list addition I did a drawing of the bird – see this post.)
The same afternoon also yielded a plethora of warblers, robins, catbirds, and red-winged blackbirds. A robin’s nest was just barely visible in a nearby tree, and I enjoyed watching the parents fly back and forth to feed the nestlings. There was always a lot of noise as the parents arrived, followed by a brief silence as the chicks had their beaks stuffed with food, then another brief noise session followed by a long and utter silence after the parents flew away. I couldn’t see the babies, but those noises were adorable!