Date: 9/7/17 11:26 pm
From: Nathaniel Wander <nw105...>
Subject: [obol] ?? Townsend's Solitaires in downtown Portland??
This will sound mad, but I believe there were two Townsend's Solitaire's in the courtyard of my Pearl District building about 4PM today (Thursday).  
I kept hearing a very distinct, high-pitched <ik> that I didn't immediately recognize.  I live on the third story of a four story building that completely encloses a courtyard densely planted in trees, bushy plants and wildflowers.  Looking across the courtyard, I briefly saw a slender, grayish bird perched upright on the opposite rooftop, but it flew off above the roofs to the west.
The calls persisted though and soon a similar bird flew to about the same perch.  As it lighted I was able to get binoculars on it, but the view, through a somewhat ashy screen wasn't very good.  It was smaller and slenderer than the scrub jays that typically haunt this courtyard, very upright and it appeared to have a lighter patch on its wing, though it seemed whitish rather than buffy.  It too flew on to the west, though I continued to hear the <ik> call for at least another five minutes: I judged it might be on the west-side roof out of my line of vision.  
I heard the call perhaps 10-12 times more after I went down into the courtyard, but never got a sight of the caller.  When it no longer repeated, I went out to Jamison Square, west of my building across NW10th Avenue.  I never heard the call again and the only birds in the park were House Sparrows and Rock Pigeons.
If these were solitaire's, the only possibility I can imagine is that they were driven down by the fires in the Gorge .  Our courtyard might pass for a small pocket canyon to a couple of disoriented thrushes.  The trees are all deciduous, though, so they mightn't stick around long.  Nathaniel WanderPortland, OR
"Don't work towards freedom.  Make the work the freedom."
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