Friday, January 20, 2017

Rewards of an Impromptu Outing

Yesterday I made one planned outing and one unplanned outing.  I wanted to get out and about, but it was rather cloudy with threats of showers.  So I tossed Truman in the car and went to Washelli cemetery to do a bit of sketching from inside the comfort of the car.

Truman was less than enchanted by this endeavor.

I felt done with drawing and it was only 10am, and I didn't feel like returning home right away.  But it was sprinkling off and on, and where could I go?

Then I remembered Llandover Woods Greenspace.  This is a small city park that Tina told me about a while back, and I'd been meaning to check it out and kept forgetting about it, but now I remembered and it wasn't that far away (NE 145th and 3rd), so off we went.

When we arrived, the rain stopped, so Truman and I went for a stroll through lovely wooded hills.

Suddenly, I caught a split-second glimpse of a bird flying from one tree to another -- and in that split-second, my mind registered white on outer tail, bigger and more slender than a junco, light grayish-taupe overall which led me to think, "That's different!"

Since it was an unplanned outing, I had no binoculars, but I did have the camera, and after spending some frantic minutes searching far off where it had flown for a grayish-brown bird among grayish-brown deciduous tree branches, I finally spotted it.  I zoomed in, and knew it was special -- a Townsend's Solitaire.  This is only the third one I've seen in over eight years of birding.  Hoorah!

Having recently bumbled my way through bird IDs that should have been easy, and having felt in dire need of a birding refresher course, this experience made me feel much more confident about my rusty skills.  I really do need to get out birding more often.

I didn't see any other birds during our entire walk, though I heard a few chickadees and some Brown Creepers.  The walk was a loop trail that wound up and down a bluff:

At the top, I found a perch for Truman:

Although you can't tell from the lighting in this photo, I could see Puget Sound through the trees.

You never know what you might find on an impromptu outing!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lovely time was had by all. Beautiful bird. Glad you got to see it!