A couple weeks ago I saw this unfamiliar bird hopping around the backyard, keeping away from the open lawn. I gave up ID’ing it after a short time.
While reviewing photos tonight I tried again and narrowed it down to either a Gray-cheeked Thrush or a Swainson’s Thrush, cannot decide which. I am inclined to say Swainson’s because of the distinct eyering, though they seem to forage mostly in trees.
Whichever it was, it is the first time I remember seeing such a bird.
Patience (and luck) paid off. I was able to capture this beautiful bird just outside my office window as it perched around 6 meters (20 feet) away from me. It was good to see that the eye I thought defective is not.
Several Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola; source: allaboutbirds.org) have taken a liking to this pond; they are present every day. They take less of a liking to my presence, quickly paddling away when they see me.