[Tweeters] Fill yesterday

Kevin Purcell kevinpurcell at pobox.com
Fri Jan 4 14:27:52 PST 2013

On Jan 4, 2013, at 8:34 AM, Connie Sidles wrote:

> In any case, with the coming of the sun on January 1 came the return of birdsong, almost as though the birds themselves knew a New Year has arrived. Perhaps they do: at least they must sense that each new day brings a little more daylight and a little less dark. Many of the birds are noticeably getting ready for breeding season: the dabbling drakes have pretty much molted into breeding plumage and many have hooked up with a mate already; the Great Blue Herons are beginning to perch on Dempsey Gym's roof again; the Song Sparrows are putting the finishing touches on their best songs; and the Northern Flickers are beginning to bang on light poles and hollow trees.

Plus a pair of Mallard's mating in the Lagoon. Got to do something to keep the interest up until you nest.

I scared up a WILSON'S SNIPE on the edge of the University Slough. I was stepping up to the water's edge looking for rails and ... boom ... two feet away the Snipe heads off upstream and 90 degrees to me. The best view I've had of a snipe for about 0.2 second: small head, big bill, triangle wings and light stripes.

The LINCOLN'S SPARROW in Hunn's Meadow East (next to the lane) was sitting atop a small shrub calling which brought out a chimping Song Sparrow on the same shrub. The ideal teaching moment. It brought out Pete Dunne's one sentence description of the Lincoln's Sparrow to mind: "A neater, more gentrified, Song Sparrow with a buffy whisker and buff wash across the chest ... [a Song Sparrow] looks like a bumpkin in comparison". It's a shame my neophyte birder wife wasn't with me.

At the west side of the Marina by the boathouse an Audubon YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (which I've seen few of this winter) was demonstrating how to flycatch at zero altitude. Either by bouncing along a log and jumping up to flycatch or more interestingly perching on an overhanging branch a couple of feet above the water then flying down to hover over the ice-covered surface to snag things from the ice surface. Return to perch for a rest. And repeat.

No REDHEADS seen at the Marina.

There was a juvi COOPER'S HAWK (probable male) hanging around too before heading off for the UW.
Kevin Purcell (Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA)
kevinpurcell at pobox.com | @kevinpurcell

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