Last Saturday I went for a group hike with the Stockbridge Audubon Society in Franke Park. It was a spectacularly poor day for warblers, which I was really hoping to see, but I did get some good looks (and slightly worse photos) of the occasionally enigmatic brown thrushes.
First among them was the Swainson’s Thrush, a bird first seen this year on my outing to the park last week. Note the strong eye ring and buff coloration of this bird. It will be important later!
This awful photo is of year bird #144 and life bird #214, Gray-Cheeked Thrush. See the lack of eye ring and notably paler underside? Compare with the Swainson’s above. That is how you can tell these two species apart.
Slightly better in photo quality was this Cooper’s Hawk, a bird I haven’t seen nearly enough of.
And coming into good lighting is a commonly heard bird that usually spends its days under tree cover, providing less than ideal photo ops. Allow me to reintroduce the Eastern Wood-Pewee.
How about another gray bird sitting on a bare branch in front of blue sky? The always reliable MoDo.
I am in Saint Louis for the weekend, so my Indiana bird spotting will be taking a rest as I look for the elusive Eurasian Tree Sparrow, whose only North American habitat is this city. Random!