Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus
At this time of the year I always look forward to the return of the catharus thrushes. The first to arrive is usually the robust and hardy Hermit Thrush which winters farther north than the other catharus species. On our walk this evening we were delighted to see two of them. The two pictures below show the salient features of their plumage - grey-brown upperparts with a warm rufous on the tail, heavily spotted whitish breast and prominent eye ring. This species moves unobtrusively along the ground or through branches, all the while flicking its wings and pumping its tail. Its song, not heard tonight unfortunately, is rich and melodic with a flutelike quality.