Wednesday, October 28

Three Lifers near Box Elder Creek

Whenever I drive up Nemo Rd. along Box Elder Creek, I always stop at this one spot where the creek passes the rocky face of a canyon wall, and Monday I took my most recent look around...

I don't know how long it was sitting there, like a statue at the top edge of the canyon wall, but eventually I saw this 'rock' wonder they're called rock first photo of one even though I've seen zillions of them.

I had a heck of a time trying to get a clear photo of this busy little canyon wren...a lifer! I'd already snapped my first house wren in July; they prefer open land compared to this guy, who was all over the rock face of the canyon wall...too far away and too small to get a good photo...

...It also zipped down on the rocks by the creek...then back to the canyon wall...

...Well I think this is a thrush, possibly a hermit thrush...rump and tail would be reddish but I couldn't get a good enough photo to tell, other than the distinct eye ring. Two shots like this and it was gone...if it's a thrush or flycatcher it'd be a lifer...

Update: I think this is a Townsend's solitaire, which is from the thrush family.

...I didn't have any better luck trying to snap this zippy little fellow than with the wren, but I'm still real excited about him all the same, cause he's a 'lifer'... I'd recently photographed a red-breasted nuthatch, my first lifer nuthatch...this is a white-breasted nuthatch! Yesss! The 'white' doesn't have the black line through the eye that the 'red' has, nor the red breast. It's in one of the trees in the wooded area across the road from the creek. I also sighted black-capped chickadees.


  1. An exciting day Jann. How lucky you are to have more than one Nuthatch species, we only have the one.

  2. Great day for you. I have many pictures of the red-breasted nuthatch, but none of white-breasted ones. I love you pictures and posts.

  3. Sounds like you had a great day - congratulations on your lifers!

  4. Hi Jann, great photos. Congratulations on
    those lifers. I think I can help you with
    that mystery thrush. It looks to me like
    it could very possibly be a Townsend's
    Solitaire. With that eyering, the overall
    gray plumage, and upright posture all point
    to solitaire to me. Hope this helps.
    Hap in New Hope

  5. Unusual to see that Carolina wren. He's a long way from his usual territory. The WB nuthatches are with us all year but we seldom see the RB's.

  6. Hap, last night I was doing more 'investigating' over my thrush photo and had decided it was the Townsend's solitaire even tho the book photo makes it look larger than the one I saw. After putting an update note with the photo, I realized there were newer comments for this post, and saw your agreement about the soloitaire. :o)

  7. Marnie, the wren is a canyon wren, not a Carolina wren! You're right, a Carolina wren would be sorely lost if it showed up here!