[Tweeters] Lake McMurray HERMIT WARBLER 8/18

Scott Atkinson scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 18 21:43:00 PDT 2013


At about 9:30 a.m. this morning I started a coastal Skagit County birding day at
Lake McMurray. At the south end of the lake, there are a couple spots that can
be good for passerine migrants in season: one is the public boat launch, the
other is the close-by Centennial trail heading south from Hwy 9. Right at this
spot there is a little pulloff overlooking a boggy section with several prominent
snags. Between these two spots, there were 6 warbler sp and all four vireos,
along with a number of other passerines.

The surprise highlight was a imm. female HERMIT WARBLER that responded
to pishing by dropping down from the top of a tall conifer at the boat launch.
I was ready to pass the bird off as a female TOWNSEND'S on first glance, but:
(a) the bird was browner on the back than any Townsend's I'd ever seen; (b)
the auricular was less distinct than a female Townsend's, more of a suggestion
of the Townsend's auricular; (c) the bird was dingly buff and unstreaked at the
flanks; and (d) the throat and breast were white. Could not find a streak, in
fact, anywhere on the bird! Was pretty amazed to find this one, as we don't
have more than a half-dozen entries for this one in Skagit Co, and all have been
spring birds to this point, at least those that I've heard about.

The HERMIT was associated with a flock that included: five BLACK-THROATED
GRAY WARBLERS, several W. TANAGERS, and a CASSIN'S VIREO. Overall neo
trop summerers/migrants list for Lake McMurray's south end: (BL=boat launch
CT=Centennial Trail)

W. Wood-Pewee 1 CT
Willow Flycatcher 3 BL
Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1 CT
empid, sp 1 BL
Swainson's Thrush 6 CT, BL
Cassin's Vireo 1 BL
Warbling Vireo 1 BL
Red-eyed Vireo 1 BL
Hutton's Vireo 1 BL
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 CT
Yellow Warbler 3 CT
Black-throated Gray Warbler 5 BL
Com. Yellowthroat 4 CT, BL
Wilson's Warbler 9 (! BL-2, CT-7)
W. Tanager 3 BL
Black-headed Grosbeak 1 BL

Otherwise Fir Island was pretty slow, although the most interesting birding was
at the Skagit WMA headquarters off Wylie Rd. Highlights here included 60
and two PURPLE MARTINS. A number of dabblers here included 7 BLUE-WINGED
and two CINNAMON TEAL; about 15 of the latter were at a slough near the
Snow Goose Produce/ice cream spot also. Two W. TANAGERS were far out
on the dike trail and had to have been migrants.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES are everywhere it seems, I even heard one at
the Lake McMurray boat launch, a new spot.

Scott Atkinson
Lake Stevens
mail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com

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