Stone Mountain Varied Thrush 2/7/16

In the last couple of weeks, a very special bird has been spotted in Georgia. This species is the Varied Thrush, which typically lives in the Pacific Northwest. It is a beautiful bird, that somewhat resembles an American Robin. According to ebird.org, there have only been three reports of this species in the state before now, with the last report in 1984. That means that this is an extremely rare sighting in Georgia and as a result, MANY birders rushed to see it. The bird was found a couple times over the last few weeks by one birder, but was not relocated again until this last Sunday (Feb. 7), when over 50 birders (including me), went to marvel at its beauty and unusualness. The bird has been hanging around behind some bathrooms at the campground at Stone Mountain Park. When I arrived, about 25-30 other birders were already trained on the bird, which was low behind some brush on the ground, tossing leaves left and right as it searched for food. I was able to look through a friend’s scope a few times to get some decent view of the bird. After about an hour of waiting, the bird flew up into a tree and then into a different tree right over our heads. The bird stayed here for about 5 minutes, hopping around to different branches and affording very good looks. Then, the bird flew across the road into another tree, where I got my best pictures and view of the bird. After another 5-10 minutes spent in this tree, the bird flew off down the road into who knows where. I am glad so many birders got to see such a wonderful sight!

Birds (8 species, 1 lifer):

Canada Goose 2

Double-crested Cormorant 1

Turkey Vulture 1

Red-bellied Woodpecker 2

Carolina Wren 1

*Varied Thrush 1

Brown Thrasher 1

Yellow-rumped Warbler 2

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Varied Thrush

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Varied Thrush

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Varied Thrush

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Varied Thrush

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Varied Thrush

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