2023—The Elusive Hermit Thrush

While I was outside between rainstorms yesterday, practicing making adjustments to my camera settings while wearing thick gloves (practice for an upcoming trip to a very cold place) I was expecting to photograph my new male Anna’s Hummingbird, Snoot. Snoot did make an appearance although he’s not yet as used to my presence as was Mr. Anna and he’s still a bit wary. Movement behind the now dry fountain (soon to be replaced) in the photinia shrubs caught my attention. I was hoping it would be the Bushtits who have not made an appearance since the New Year’s Eve storm but the Bushtits always come en masse and this was a single bird. As it hopped from branch to branch, usually completely obscured from view, I realized it was the Hermit Thrush, aptly named as it always comes alone and only in the winter. I usually see this elusive bird once or twice a year on the fountain. Since the fountain’s now dry I was curious what it would do. Well, it didn’t stay long but it did appear briefly in a tiny window in the shrubs. I got three shots before it moved completely behind the leaves and out of view. It was the first time I have ever photographed a Hermit Thrush. After thirty minutes or so, there was no more movement so I presume it had either left or had found a safe place to perch. Snoot was busy chasing away another hummer.