Tillamook County is the home to four different members of the thrush family. The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is the most common, and as such this beautiful bird often doesn't get the respect that it deserves. Juveniles are spotted and can be confusing. The Varied Thrush (Ixoreus navius) at first glance looks similar to a Robin. However, in these beauties note the rust colored bold supercilium (eye stripe) and wing bars in both sexes and the dark black "necklace" in the males. They are present in the fall and winter in our area. Swainson's Thrushes (Catharus ustulatus) are a summer visitor, arriving when the salmon berries ripen. They are more often heard than seen, with their distinctive pwip call and their ethereal fluting, smooth, rising song. A similar appearing bird, only present in late fall and winter, is the handsome Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus). These birds have a complete white eye ring and a reddish tail. Like the Swainson's, these birds can be secretive, but will show themselves well at times. Can you identify the images below? Photos by Michael Krall
There have been lots of good sightings in the last month. The Oregon Coast generally, and Tillamook County in particular, had a bonanza of shore birds for a couple of weeks. Red Knots were especially abundant and in almost unprecedented numbers, at least in recent memory. Unfortunately, that migration event has passed now. Still there are some unusual birds to be seen. Several people saw an Eastern Kingbird at Sitka Sedge, but it apparently only hung around for a day. At least four Lazuli Bunting, a beautiful song bird unusual for our county, have also been seen locally in the Upper Nestucca, Moon Creek area.