When I am in the field there are certain things that I use to help me find birds. First, I rely heavily on bird song. This is very true in the spring when everything is singing away. I am much more likely to detect a singing bird than a silent bird. Sometimes I hear a bird, identify it from its song, but never manage to see it. Learning bird songs has been a huge help in these situations.
Without bird song I rely on movement. If a bird moves, and I see that movement, then I can try to follow it and maybe identify it. Sometimes I see movement in my peripheral vision and then I have to stop, scan and attempt to relocate the bird. Such was the case with this Hermit Thrush.
As I walked the River Trail at DGCA I noticed movement to my right, but when I looked in that direction I did not see what caused it. Apparently I had flushed this Hermit Thrush. He found a new roost and then just sat still. After I noticed the original movement, I stopped and scanned and got lucky. Finding a bird that is just sitting there and watching you without making a sound is just plain lucky. That is the feeling I get when I suddenly notice an owl in a nearby tree who has been watching me for several minutes. And that is the feeling I got with this thrush. Even after I spotted him, he just sat and watched me. I snapped a bunch of photos hoping that some of them would be reasonable. He, on the other hand, eventually got bored of me and decided that a nearby caterpillar was much more interesting. Yummy!