Friday, May 13, 2011

Unusual yard visitors--Green-tailed Towhee, MacGillivray's Warbler & Brown Thrasher

Yesterday brought 3 consecutive surprises in my yard-and all within 10 minutes in mid-afternoon. I spotted the first surprise, a Brown Thrasher, on the ground between my feeders and the water tray. Not only have I never seen a Brown Thrasher in my yard, I also have never seen one in Canon City where I live or even in Fremont County--this species is a rarity here. When I went out to try to photograph it, I spotted a MacGillivray's Warbler flitting through some shrubs near my feeders. I certainly see them on the Canon City Riverwalk and had seen several there yesterday morning but my yard is a bit (not far) off the riparian pathway and in a residential area which would not seem attractive to this species nicely described by All About Birds as a "furtive bird of forest edges and thickets."
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(bottom pic best seen by double-clicking on it to enlarge it)

The third surprise bird was this Green-tailed Towhee--another species I see during migration and had also just seen this morning on the Canon City Riverwalk. While the MacGillivray's proceeded to flit around my yard presumably feeding on insects it found on my plants and the Brown Thrasher flew from one hiding spot to another, the Green-tailed Towhee came out in the open to have a bath as shown in these pics. Actually, it came back out to have 3 consecutive baths. This makes me wonder if the Brown Thrasher may also have been attracted by the water I offer. I spotted all three in about 10 minutes and they were so unusual (and such an unusual combo) I thought I should pinch myself to see if this was real. All three stayed around my yard for about an 45 minutes to an hour. What fun. SeEtta