Many thanks to Jeff MacQueen who found a rare Townsend’s Solitaire in his Orford yard and invited others to come and view it. With Jeff watching from a distance, I was alone with the Solitaire for 13 minutes getting some nice views.
I took a few distant shots then moved in closer. I was shooting through branches, which perhaps help relax the bird, but it seemed to pay no attention to me.
The bird stretched its wings…
Stood up tall…
Stretched some more…
And fluffed itself up, even though the morning was warm.
Here are three series showing it going through the motions of enjoying its perch. Note how the Solitaire stretches its right leg in the first series.
After 7 minutes the Solitaire flew to a nearby tree. I made some photos of it there without moving my tripod.
After another 2 minutes it moved to a nearby branch then flew somewhere out of sight.
It returned 3 minutes later to its initial tree, but in a much less visible spot. I could see it had a fruit in its mouth that it was working to swallow. I got a few shots. Sure wish I had a better view.
It swallowed the fruit and was gone. That is when others started arriving.
I stayed a total of 40 minutes at Jeff’s home, but the rest of the time paled in comparison with those early minutes. The Solitaire reappeared shortly before I departed. I got a last few distant shots before to flew high into a pine. Good bye great bird, and thank you very much Jeff for sharing it.
On the way home I stopped to get a few quick shots of a pair of bald eagles. The 13 year old male is on the right.