[Tweeters] Hot birds at the Fill today

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Mon Apr 1 16:18:02 PDT 2013

Hey tweets, today was a hot day, if you discount the cool morning temperatures. Certainly the birds did. They were everywhere, in a glorious combination of lagging winter residents, early summer arrivals, the year-rounders, and migrants galore.

The lake was swarming with *hundreds* of swallows, mostly Tree and Violet-green, but also a couple NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED (FOY).

A Greater Yellowlegs on Main Pond was doing the jerky-jerky, while a couple of female Hooded Mergansers looked on - with their "hair" stuck out behind, they always look surprised to me, like cartoons come to life.

In the evergreens along Surber, a flock of more than 30 RED CROSSBILLS appeared out of nowhere, accompanied by some Pine Siskins and one PURPLE FINCH (FOY for me, though Blair Bernson had one singing in the Wedding Rock area yesterday).

In Yesler Cove, a mix of laggard American Wigeons, Green-winged Teals, Ring-necked Ducks floated in company with a pair of Wood Ducks, who looked carnaval-costumed as though they had just flown in from Rio. I think they're going to nest somewhere in the swamp near here. Their strange, high-pitched peep-quacks were echoed by the unlovely voice of the FOY male BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD who perched on top of the tallest cottonwood and began his search for a female and a likely looking victim to parasitize.

Nobody paid any attention to the Bald Eagle who soared in from the nest at Talaris, extended its feathery legs, and landed on a cottonwood branch, bending it down so far I thought it was going to snap off. Somehow, the eagle managed to hold on when the branch sprang back, but the subsequent ups and downs made me a little quesy. I guess if your life is filled with swoops, you don't mind that sort of thing.

White-crowned Sparrows were singing everywhere, a welcome sound that has been uncommon for the past year or two. They are daily being joined by more and more incoming Savannahs, who continue their population explosion of the past two years. The Marsh Wrens who have been nest-building in the grass tussocks of the wet meadows are going to have to move over to make room.

Altogether, there have been 104 species seen at the Fill this year. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com

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