[Tweeters] Red Crossbills on the beach question; also a Boeing Ponds update

wheelermombi at comcast.net wheelermombi at comcast.net
Sun Aug 4 12:17:06 PDT 2013

Hi Tweeters,

I was walking along the beach to the right of the Marine Science Center on Saturday afternoon around high tide, when 3 Red Crossbills landed at the water's edge. There was a nearby piece of driftwood, and they wood occasionally hop up on that and then go back to the beach. I watched them for several minutes through my bins, and they seemed to be eating something, but I couldn't see what it was. I'm just wondering if anyone has observed this behavior before and would have a suggestion as to what they might have been up to.

I spent a couple of hours this morning at the Boeing Ponds; lots of friendly birders and, while the shorebird numbers were pretty low, there was a nice variety, as reported earlier. I didn't see the Semi-palmated Sandpiper or the N. Mockingbird, but a couple of other birders had seen them earlier (one person also mentioned a Green Heron sighting). I did see SOLITARY SANDPIPER (1), LEAST SANDPIPER, PECTORAL SANDPIPER (at least 3, but probably 1 or 2 more), GREATER AND LESSER YELLOWLEGS, SEMI-PALMATED PLOVER, KILLDEER, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (I believe, but I didn't hear them vocalize, very rufous though), and a very cooperative VIRGINIA RAIL. At one point, I had both the rail and a Pectoral Sandpiper in the scope view at the same time, which was probably a once in a life time occurrence. There are a lot of hiding places, so it's quite possible that the Semi-palmated SP is still around. The ponds are really an island in a sea of development as more of the surrounding area was in the process of being bulldozed and leveled. And so it goes...

Good birding,

Lonnie Somer
wheelermombi at comcast.net

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