[Tweeters] Where are the Varied Thrushes?

Eugene Hunn enhunn323 at comcast.net
Mon Jan 2 07:59:40 PST 2017

Jane et al.,

Greetings from down south.

On the Varied Thrush issue, here’s a brief summary from the Sonoma Valley CBC which I compile:

“For the Sonoma Valley count we had a report of 3 in the Adobe sector (not where one might expect to find them) and Lisa is unsure about that report. Over our 12 year span we’ve recorded 25 to over 400 with a mean for the 11 years prior of 202. So to miss them entirely is extraordinary. I have had the same experience on both the Pt. Reyes count and the Santa Rosa count, so it’s region wide and maybe as far as coastal Washington. I imagine they have just stayed put in the mountains of dense coniferous forests rather than moving down and out. Global warming?? Who knows.”

Gene Hunn

Petaluma, CA

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jane Hadley
Sent: Sunday, January 1, 2017 3:05 PM
To: Tweeters, Dear <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Where are the Varied Thrushes?

In a New Year's Eve post on Tweeters, Kristi Hein noted that people on the CBC in Anacortes commented on "a notable absence of Varied Thrushes this fall and winter." Gene Hunn chimed in from California saying all of the CBC in the California Bay Area "have noted an extraordinary near absence of Varied Thrushes. It is apparently a widespread phenomenon." Mike Stropki reported "the same experience" on South Whidbey.

This kind of surprised me, because I remembered a post earlier in December noting a large number of Varied Thrushes. I went back to look and found this Dec 17, 2016 Tweeters post from Sharon Cormier-Aagaard:

Stan and I hiked Margaret's Way Trail today in King County's Cougar-Squak Corridor, a trail connecting Cougar Mountain to Squak Mountain (2 of the "Issaquah Alps") just off hwy 900 (the old Renton to Issaquah Road). We expected we'd see Varied Thrush, but NOT in the amazing abundance that we did! About every 1/4 to 1/2 mile, we'd watch 8-40 Varied Thrushes flush up in front of us from the forest floor and angle up into the trees, in all directions, filling the open spaces, especially when there were 30-40+ birds. Birds flying every which way, chupping, perching briefly, then flying a bit further before perching again. This phenomenon went on for 3 miles, to our turn around at Debbie's View. And, the same happened on our return. Incredible.

So apparently they've all decided to move to the Cougar-Squak Corridor.

Jane Hadley

Seattle, WA

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