Backyard Visitors

Sunday was the first sunny day in a long time, but unfortunately Leslie was feeling under the weather so we weren’t able to go to Theler Wetlands as I’d originally planned. It was a little disappointing, but we have lots to do around the house. While working in the kitchen I happened to look out on the back deck which with the onset of sunshine seemed like an extremely popular place, even though I haven’t put any birdseed out this fall.

A beautiful Stellar Jay sat looking in the window, and I was tempted to run get a camera but I knew from experience that he would be long gone by the time I ran upstairs and got my camera. However, after I spotted a Varied Thrush scattering leaves everywhere I decided to get my camera after all because, unlike the Jay, they tend to stick around for a while.

I’ve long ago learned that it’s a waste of time to try to shoot bird photos through the window, no matter how close they are. I’ve also learned that once you crack the patio door to stick your lens out, that 90% of the time birds will fly away, especially Jays.

Amazingly one of the three Stellar Jays stuck around long enough to get this shot on the back fence.

Stellar Jay on Fence

Even more surprising, I was able to get multiple shots of the Varied Thrush digging through leaves under the plum tree. This is one of the best I’ve ever gotten in my backyard, which tends to be particularly dark in the winter because of the fir tree and the high fences.

Varied Thrush

Varied Thrushes are notoriously timid, but this one actually seemed curious about the sounds my camera made when I hit the shutter.

Varied Thrush

Eventually he flew into the tree where the light was also better than usual because all the leaves long ago fell to the ground.

Varied Thrush

I thought it was extremely thoughtful of the birds to come visit me when I wasn’t able to come visit them. I took nearly twenty shots, which I straightaway narrowed to these three which I rated, and labeled before immediately deleting all the rejects.

7 thoughts on “Backyard Visitors”

  1. Great shots of the thrush! I saw one in Ohio when I was a teenager. The woman who had spotted it in her backyard patiently allowed streams of birders to traipse through her house to see it, an attitude that struck me as being rarer than the bird itself.

    1. I really don’t consider myself a “birder,” but allow others to call me that because I’m quite fond of most people who are birders. They are consistently the friendliest group of people I’ve met, always eager to share their passion with others.

  2. I had variegated thrushes briefly and got some nice shots of them, though not as good as yours. They are beautiful birds. I regularly have Stellar jays at my feeder. They flip bird seed all over the place. But I love their audacious cheerfulness (not to anthropomorphize or anything like that.)

    1. I love both Jays and Crows. I guess they remind me of students I’ve had in the past. Oh, and me, perhaps. I’ve always been a little obnoxious I’ve heard.

  3. The crest on that jay is quite something Loren. Our indigenous jay is rather pretty but my goodness me – what your jay lacks in pretty colours, he more than makes up for with that crest. As usual, super photographs. Hope Leslie is feeling better.

    1. The grass is always greener isn’t it? I was envious when I realized I’d never seen a “Blue Jay” in my life, and that’s always what we called our Stellar Jays. Oh, by the way, he’s actually a beautiful blue when he’s not in the shade, though he lacks the white that true Blue Jays have.

  4. I’ve never seen a variegated thrush, I guess it’s a west coast bird. Lovely! I especially like the one with his head cocked when you clicked the shutter – reminds me of our dog Angel when you say a word she knows!

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