Up Close & Personal … The Varied Thrush

In my Garden, Musings, Nature, Photography, Up Close & Personal ...

I’ll always remember the first time I spotted one of these birds!
It was on a very cold winter morning in our garden in Portland, Oregon.

I had to get the bird field guide out since I’d never seen this bird before and
learned they are easily identified by their black and orange markings.

Varied thrushes always appear with very cold weather
and disappear as soon as springtime arrives.

The last few years I haven’t seen nearly as many visit our garden!
This past winter I saw only three of them,
whereas in previous winters I might see a dozen of them all at once.
I wonder if it’s related to climate change?

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

20 thoughts on “Up Close & Personal … The Varied Thrush”

  1. Sadly these days everything is related to climate change Sabine – your scorching weather, our seven-inch rainfall the other day, with seven days of rain and more stormy weather to follow. This Thrush reminds me a little of a Baltimore Oriole with its markings. Its front feathers and the way they look bumpy remind me of a juvenile Robin a little.

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    • You’re right about the weather, Linda! I can’t believe how HOT is was and is! I’ve been watering like crazy and my hydrangea just totally fizzled despite being in the shade most of the day. I read about your deluge of rain! I hope your basement stayed dry! Climate change is definitely for real, regardless of what some people say. I’ve noticed a very distinct change in the weather here in Portland during the 16 years we’ve been here. June used to be rainy and not all that warm. When we moved here the locals said don’t expect any summer weather until after July 4th! So much for that! As to the thrush, they do have a bit of a resemblance of an oriole. I love seeing them but wouldn’t be surprised if we get even fewer next winter. Anyway, stay dry and cool and safe, Linda! 🙋‍♀️

      Liked by 1 person

      • People been denying climate change since Al Gore first mentioned it and he’s probably sneering at all those people now. I am a believer too Sabine. I was lucky to escape any flooding – the deluge of water was incredible and the pictures made the national news from what I’ve seen online. Thousands of vehicles bobbing around on the expressway that is still flooded in parts and the state police had to ask people to quit swimming in the water on the expressway, no matter how humid and hot it was, as the water contained gasoline, oil, animal carcasses and sewage. That made the national news too. We got around 5 inches of rain, but in Detroit they got 7 inches in three hours and it had been raining all day Friday beforehand compounding their miseries. It is going to rain every day this week and pouring out now and rumbling around a little too. I hope you get more visits from the thrush. Stay cool Sabine – I heard them specifically mention Portland and B.C. this morning on the news for the heat wave – they said B.C. was 40 degrees warmer than usual for this time.

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      • Linda, your weather sounds a lot like what my sister has been saying about her weather! Tons of rain, hot and humid days and nights and huge thunder storms. We got really hot here in the PNW. I still can’t believe the temps! Our house has air conditioning so we were okay, but the garden suffered greatly despite frequent and thorough watering. These temps made me long for our summers of the past.


      • Sabine, I am hearing lots of stories on the news about the PNW and how many folks do not have air conditioning as it’s not really needed and thus are suffering. Today I intended to ask you if you had A/C – thankfully you do. I just asked a UK photographer if they had the oppressive heat there like they did two years ago … that heat wave there and throughout Europe made our news daily. So he said yes and you’re telling me your sister is suffering as well. I’m sorry to hear that and sorry for your garden, your backyard sanctuary that gives you so much enjoyment. I have “been there” as a result of our back-to-back Polar Vortexes and seeing the weather-related destruction is painful.

        I, too, long for our seasons in the past. The last four or five years, the seasons are blurred and I noticed it first when my good friend/neighbor Marge died in August 2017. I was running errands on December 3rd that year and came home from grocery shopping and it was too nice to stay indoors – it was around 70 I recall. I went for a walk to the Park. People were in tee-shirts stringing their Christmas lights as I walked through the neighborhood. I was dressed the same way. I remember the date as my neighbor was outside and it would have been Marge’s 80th birthday. Who has a 70+-degree day in December? Certainly not here in SE Michigan. We had severe weather Tuesday afternoon and a rainy evening – the dew points and humidity were so bad I just took this morning off. Poked my head outside to feed Two-Tone and give him a block of ice and shut the door and scurried back in. We’re in the 90s beginning on Monday so I may just walk at the grocery store and pop over and scatter some peanuts at the Park on the way home next week. Our meteorologists had predicted this volatile Summer back on the first day of Spring.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The weather seems to be volatile everywhere, Linda! I am grateful for having air conditioning, but until the last few years we rarely had to use it. Sunday evening one of our kids came over to cool off. He’s on the third floor of an apartment building and said it was nearly 110 degrees inside. He looked quite pale and for a moment I thought he might pass out. Even Dingo was sluggish. Fortunately the heat has let up and it’s a cool 72 degrees outside! I hope your weather settles down so you can enjoy the summertime at your favorite parks. Walking at the grocery store sounds good! Wear your mask and be safe, Linda!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you’re getting a break in the heat … 72 degrees at 1:00 p.m. your time is not bad at all. The news is focusing on Canada, Vancouver especially today. I guess Dingo would be warm with all that fur. Thank goodness you have A/C. We are going to have a few days reprieve from the heat (Friday through Sunday), then back in the 90s for us again. It is good to have a Plan “B” … I do still wear my mask, even to the Park, especially since the Delta virus has made its way to all 50 states now.

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      • Glad to hear that the heat has taken a hike Sabine. I heard that too and was amazed it got that hot. I heard a story on the national news tonight about some bakery employees in Portland, Oregon who were terminated because they caused issues after being forced to work in 95-degree conditions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not only would employers not want their workers to feel like they’re getting fried (like a donut in the hot grease), but the publicity over this will likely decrease their business or even put them out of business.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you, Linda! Voodoo Donuts however is a somewhat famous donut shop and if you’ve ever flown out of PDX you’ll most likely have encountered passengers on the plane gingerly carrying a big box of donuts to wherever they’re going. So they might be able to get away with it! Personally I don’t think their donuts are that special, but they do make some very creative ones. I just find it disappointing that this kind of stuff can happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hmm – I just bopped on over to Voodoo Donuts website after reading your comment and I see what you mean. Like a cult following with tee-shirts with the name emblazoned on it. I looked at the variety, quite extensive, but I’d be the person getting the cake donut to be honest. I always liked the peanut donuts or old-fashioned crullers best. People go crazy for Krispy Kreme and they don’t do anything for me – too sweet. I find it disappointing too. Hopefully someone else hires them and it works out for the best.

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      • I rarely eat donuts, but did get a couple of the Voodoo ones a few years ago when they brought a food truck to the farmers market. after hearing about them for so long I thought it’d be interesting to find out what the hype is all about. I was disappointed, which is probably good for my waistline! But what’s worse is that they fired distressed employees!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve never liked donuts with icing or sprinkles on them but I did bend the rules for nutty donuts, but I haven’t had a donut in many years.

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