[Tweeters] Magnuson Park, 11 December 2013

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Wed Dec 11 20:43:11 PST 2013

Yet another COLD morning, in the high 20s, not getting much warmer, despite a few sun breaks. All of the ponds except for the deeper Promontory Pond are frozen so very few water birds were visible. But there were large numbers of passerines, everywhere. In particular, on the pebble shore of Lake Washington, there were gobs of small birds right on the rocks, foraging within a foot of the water. This included dozens of American Robins, plus Song Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Spotted Towhee and Dark-eyed Junco. Other notables included:

A Snow Goose continues to associate with the large flock of Canada Goose
4 Canvasback were mixed in with the several hundred Scaup, off the swim beach
A pair of Red-breasted Merganser, south of the swim beach, not too far off shore
Two pair of California Quail, along the trails adjacent the lake shore
5 species of gull on the swim platform, including Herring Gull
A visible day roosting Barn Owl
Red-breasted Sapsucker, Promontory Point
Several hundred American Robin and several dozen Cedar Waxwing

One interesting behavior I had not seen before: Pied-billed Grebe are notorious for their submarine maneuver, when they simply sink below the surface, without diving. Today at Pontiac Bay, I saw a ring of bubbles and suspected a grebe. Shortly thereafter, a head slowly emerged from below the surface. At first glance it seemed like the head of an auklet, then when the full head showed, yes, a Pied-billed. Then, it raised some more to show, in addition, the tip of the tail, never revealing its body. Then, it just sank with the submarine ploy. It did this same maneuver twice more before swimming, underwater, farther out into the lake. On none of the three occasions did it show its entire body.

For the day, 59 species.
Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15937711
Scott Ramos

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