Sunday, June 5, 2011

Swainson's Thrush

I'm still nursing a cold. I can't gather the strength to get up in the morning. I slept about 13 hours both Friday and Saturday night. Went to immediate care this afternoon, just to be sure I didn't have anything that was treatable, but no such luck, it's just a nasty virus. I got some Sudafed though and it seems to be drying me up.
I did take a trip today out to Milo McIver State Park with my wife. We visited there years ago when the kids were young and really enjoyed it. They have a fish hatchery there where you can observe salmon close up. It's pretty cool and have always meant to return, but never have until today.
It was about 4:00 PM before we got there so the birding wasn't very good, but the scenery was wonderful. The trails that we took were a little muddy, but navigable.
I did get some views of a Swainson's Thrush shown above. I'm 95% sure that it is a Swainson's and not a Hermit. They look pretty similar, but the Hermit's should have moved out of our region for the summer. In addition, this is one of the few birds I have learned to identify by sound. Swainson's Thrushes make a sort of whistle or "whit". Kind of like whistling for a dog. It's short, increases in frequency and ends abruptly. I saw my first Swainson's at Champoeg State Park earlier this spring. I heard it make that sound, memorized it by repeating it with my own whistle and then listened to both Thrushes on Cornell's All About Birds sit. It was a perfect match for the Swainson's.


  1. Cool! I have yet to find a Swainson's Thrush myself.. I saw a Hermit last week that I tried to turn into a Swainson's, but its rufous tail was undeniable.

  2. I saw them last summer at both Ecola State Park and at Beverly Beach campground but haven't seen or heard them yet this year. Hope you kick your cold!