Townsend’s solitaires (Myadestes townsendi) are long, slender members of the thrush family that are usually seen on the highest available perches. Although these dull grey birds are conspicuous and often sit immobile for long periods, I find them difficult to photograph because their perches are often too far away for my old 200 mm lens.
One cold October morning I was sitting next to Ash Creek (Lassen County CA) watching an area where birds often come to drink in the morning. Even though the ground was still frosty and the sun was barely peeking over the ridge behind my back, the solitaires came to “bathe” and drink in the icy water. I was close enough to finally get pictures that showed the solitaires’ white eye rings and buffy-orange wing patches clearly. When wandering around outdoors I love the fact that I never know what might appear – be it flora or fauna.