[Tweeters] Three Thrush Thrill

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign15 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 10 17:49:11 PDT 2019

July 5th was a gray day here in Port Townsend. Why? Because of "Baked
Alaska" stealing our sunshine! (I read about it in the news). It did result
in my 3 thrush thrill at Fort Worden that morning though.

First thrush thrill was at home for the 430 am Robin chorus: Robins are
something I, to date, have never failed to appreciate. If I ever do I then
hope my body is somehow donated for earthworm food. I realize this would be
hard to arrange pre- irrevocable marble loss, but maybe I could luck out in
the end. Hey, this isn' t morbid, it's ecology!

My next thrush thrill was on Artillery Hill, Fort Worden (like Fats Domino
without the blueberries) when, under the grey cool blanket of low overcast,
the Salmonberry Birds (AKA Swainson's Thrush) were singing! Always

Then the bonus thrill as I walked on past the clifftop view down to the
lighthouse,which may have been fog-driven, since fog started rolling in off
the straits. Sometimes it seems to me that thrushes are like natures
moisture meters. Rain makes the Robins (and their worms) happy, and
Salmonberry Birds seem to appriciate humid overcast skies to sing under.
But to me the fog thrush will always be Varied Thrush.

That's primarily due to several years working at Paradise, the aptly named
locale on Mt. Rainiers southern slopes. Paradise is like the summer fog
capital of the cascade range, really gets socked in. Even through a week or
more of solid fog, you could depend on Varied Thrush song. Amazing acousics.

I guess one could compare various thrush songs - Salmonberry Bird, Hermit,
Veery, and even Robin , and find some
similar characteristics, but the Varied Thrush is way out there in music
world: imagine way out improvisational musicians - jazz guys, or the
Grateful Dead live with slo mo feedback. I first heard a burry call as the
fog came in at Fort Worden, at a low musical pitch: "Wow", I thought, "that
sounds like a Varied Thrush", but I had my doubts, it being July in the
lowlands. Port Townsend is a way bit on the dry side for great Varied
Thrush habitat though this spot on the North and Northwest side of
Artillery Hill is a go- to spot in winter to hear them. Still a reluctant
Jeffery, I waited for more imput and was not dissapointed when I heard a
call at a higher pitch that cinched my id. Further waiting paid off when
the thrush hit that high burry pitch that just says Varied Thrush. As
experienced Varied Thrush listeners know, you just have to wait for the
next pitch.

Jeff Gibson
Port Townsend Wa
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