Date: 9/8/17 4:02 pm
From: Nathaniel Wander <nw105...>
Subject: [obol] Fw: ?? Townsend's Solitaires in downtown Portland??
I have seen a solitaire in winter (Feb) on the Blacklock Trail north of Port Orford.  The trail is full of rhododendron, as is my courtyard, and I seem to recollect blackish berry-bearing bushes I can't name.
Jason Crotty also shared this eBird report photos of a Townsend's in his NE Portland yard on 9/28/15.  
I wonder if Jason's solitaire could have been a more 'wintery' bird.  As I shared with Jeff last night, there are scattered winter reports to be found on line from both Portland and San Francisco going back to the 1920s. Nathaniel WanderPortland, OR
"Don't work towards freedom.  Make the work the freedom."

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...>
To: Nathaniel Wander <nw105...>
Cc: OBOL Birders Online <obol...>
Sent: Friday, September 8, 2017 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: [obol] ?? Townsend's Solitaires in downtown Portland??

Hi Nathan
Townsend’s Solitaries normally do occur sparingly in Portland from late fall through about early May.   Along the coast I have seen them from early winter into late April. (with the April being the best month to see them on the coast)   In my experience they are always worth a second or third look at lowland locations.  Birds in the Portland area and along the coast are often at non-native berries, such as ivy, holly, or pyracantha.


On Sep 8, 2017, at 12:51 PM, Nathaniel Wander <nw105...> wrote:
Fire-driven is the only thing that makes sense.  I've found a few reports on line--mostly from 1920s--of solitaires turning up in PDX or SFO, but only in winter. Nathaniel WanderPortland, OR
"Don't work towards freedom.  Make the work the freedom."

From: Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...>
To: <nw105...>
Cc: OBOL Birders Online <obol...>
Sent: Thursday, September 7, 2017 11:28 PM
Subject: Re: [obol] ?? Townsend's Solitaires in downtown Portland??

They may be there due to the fires.

On Sep 7, 2017, at 11:26 PM, Nathaniel Wander <nw105...> wrote:
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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