Townsend’s Solitaire at Port Washington in Ozaukee County Wisconsin on March 8, 2019

On my way home from birding in Sheboygan and getting the Great Tit, I thought I would stop at Port Washington. A Townsend’s Solitaire had recently been reported there. The Solitaire was present in the area as reported near the creek at the entrance of Coal Dock Park. When I arrived it was in a tree just above the creek perched. After watching it for awhile, it flew to the concrete wall a couple feet away along the creek and ate what I would think would be gnats or tiny insects. Hopping and skipping around on the concrete wall, I could tell it was catching things and eating. It was also picking insects out of mid-air. I think maybe the warming concrete there provided awaking insects that were dormant? After awhile it flew to the power plant fence adjacent to the creek across the road and ate some conifer berries. This only went on for a shot time. From there it flew high into a tree above the creek and then onto a condo roof top, then north out of sight, I left the area. It was comfortable at 36 degrees, the sun was fading with clouds, but with no wind it was very pleasant.

When I arrived, the Townsend’s Solitaire perched in the tree…

Townsend’s Solitaire

Binomial name: Myadestes townsendi

Category: Thrushes

Size: 8.5” long, 14.5” wingspan

Weight: 1.2 Oz.

Note: What makes this bird a rare visitor? The normal range for the Townsend’s Solitaire is mountainous regions in the western US.

In the tree, looking or listening for insects…

Flying a short distance to the concrete wall a few feet away…

Going for insects…

Getting something to eat here…

here too…

And more, it is eating something here…

Looking for more…

Turns on a dime to look for more, as it must hear something or see something…

Back to the tree…

Before flying across the creek…

To the conifers for the berries along the fence…then off it went…

What the Townsend’s Solitaire ate…

Townsend’s Solitaire at the UW Arboretum in Madison in Dane County Wisconsin on January 31, 2018

I decided to make a run up to the UW Arboretum in Madison Wisconsin. My target bird was the Townsend’s Solitaire. It was present shortly after I arrived, but only gave brief views before disappearing. A couple hours later it was back and doing some feeding in conifers and once feeding on the ground. I was told the Townsend’s Solitaire was first seen there back on December 12, 2017. Wow, with all the food there I can see why it has not moved on. Usually there are a couple of Townsend’s Solitaires found at Devil’s Lake State Park every year. I think it has been awhile since one has been reported here. Another bird to note for the day but was not present, was a Northern Saw-whet Owl that was seen yesterday. Numerous birders showed up for that prize bird while I was there but it could not be found in the time I was there. It was a nice day out birding with some sun, mild temps and low winds. It was nice too to see some birders I have not seen for some time and exchange some birding notes with them. Images were taken on January 31, 2018

Townsend’s Solitaire perched pretty…

Townsend’s Solitaire

Binomial name: Myadestes townsendi

Category: Thrushes

Size: 8.5” long, 14.5” wingspan

Weight: 1.2 Oz.

Townsend’s Soliataire on the ground going for some conifer berries that fell…

Looking around …

Berry in the bill…

Berry going down…

Berry gone!