These secretive birds pass through Oasis Valley in September, October, and November, often arriving at the same time as Robins with colder weather.
^A Varied thrush digging in leaf litter in a yard in October. It uses the large bill to swish through leaves after ground invertebrates.
I have fond memories of walking along dark oak-wooded trails lined with ferns on the central California coast in winter, rain sometimes softy falling on the leaves, and hearing the eerie songs of Varied thrushes: long, low buzzed whistles like "zzhhhrrrr" coming from thicket and tree canopy. Calls include a low "chup."
Nearby Death Valley (Inyo County, California) has rare records going into December and January, as well as a lower number of spring sightings.
They breed in wet Pacific Northwest forests to Alaska.