[Tweeters] FOY Fill

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Wed Jan 2 07:27:28 PST 2013

Hey tweets, and I had *two* FOYs at the Fill yesterday. My first FOY
was a HOODED MERGANSER, cruising past the mud island in the Lagoon. My
husband John and I had arrived at the Fill well before dawn, had our
annual friendly squabble about the best place to station ourselves to
avoid a crow as FOY, failed to dither (perhaps another FOY?), and
planted our scope on the service road on the west side of the Lagoon.
I was trying for a Killdeer, which would have been a great, never-
before-winning FOY. As I was scanning the dark mud, trying to pick out
the white of the Killdeer's breast from the whitish rocks that dot the
island, into my scope's field of view paddled a male Hoody, his white
crest fully opened, no doubt hoping to impress unseen females in the

My second FOY came this morning, when I read Kevin's post about the
Northern Shrike. Although I spent the entire day at the Fill, flitting
here and there like a hummingbird, I missed this great bird. So NOSH
becomes my first missed bird of the year. I don't think I've ever
found one of these so early in the year before. This must portend a
fantastic year of hits and misses, which I am really looking forward
to: the misses as much as the hits, for reasons of humility (it's good
to stay humble when you're a birder) and challenge (it's nice to know
nature has so much more in store than the little bits we intersect).

Anyway, it was a great day to be out, wasn't it? Gorgeous weather,
great birds, wonderful companions. Also at the Fill yesterday:
• 6 REDHEADS fishing near the Marina
• a HERMIT THRUSH at Surber (didn't see one all last year)
• 3 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES (unusual for the Fill; in the non-native
conifers at the Marina, trees in which I have seen *no* birds of any
sort before, ever)
• a male COMMON GOLDENEYE at the Marina
• a PACIFIC WREN in the narrow habitat along Dempsey Gym
• 2 EURASIAN WIGEONS off East Point; one was calling constantly,
something I have never heard before. I learned the EUWI's call sounds
like an AMWI's if the AMWI were trying to imitate a flicker: one note,
falling in tone at the end, piercing but a little squeaky like a
squeeze toy
• a NORTHERN PINTAIL male in breeding plumage at the Marina
• a WILSON'S SNIPE foraging in the mud of one of the tiny islands
north of the Marina's dock; looking very bright in newly molted feathers
• a CINNAMON TEAL there too

-Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com
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