central Skagit County update: INDIGO BUNTING; Othello N.
scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 1 19:25:35 PDT 2013
Inspired by Ryan's Mockingbird report and high counts, I returned to Skagit to see if I could
relocate the first and meet or exceed the high counts. Alas, no sign of the Mockingbird but
it was 12 days ago. I did count an amazing 42 LAZULI BUNTINGS, admittedly this includes
heard-onlys as well as birds seen, and includes all open and edge habitat I could reach from
the Bryson Rd access through Rockport, and eastward to Marblemount. The scrub habitat
under the power lines ends just northeast of Marblemount near Bacon Creek. All told,
it was a decent outing with 72 bird species recorded.
The big surprise, viewed twice, was a female INDIGO BUNTING at the new public interpretive
sign near the end of Bryson Rd. The Sauk Suiattle tribe has put up a display on the Sauk River
salmon there at a new public parking site; there is also a yellow gate blocking further travel
to the river itself. The bird was seen at about 7 a.m. the morning here, and again at about 11:30
a.m. Beware of the fact that there are at least two, and perhaps three pairs of LAZULIS here.
That said, the bird was alone both times when I had it.
Other bird highlights:
Anna's Hummingbird 1 (Bryson Rd access, not expected)
Eur. Collared-Dove 1 (Corkindale, my furthest east in the valley to date)
EASTERN KINGBIRD 1 (n. end of Corkindale Creek)
Bank Swallow 20 (Corkindale)
HOUSE WREN 1 (first cutover area on north side of Suiattle River Rd heading east from 20)
Red-eyed Vireo 16
8 warbler sp (MacGillivray's Warbler: 30 approx.; no Redstarts)
Lazuli Bunting 42
INDIGO BUNTING 1 (Bryson Rd access)
Bullock's Oriole 3 (Martin Rd, Cascadia Farms riverside pulloff, Corkindale)
In the vascular plant category, I find it interesting that Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) seems
to be locally naturalized at several sites in the coverage area. Places it is present
include Marblemount boat launch; along the road to the Marblemount Ranger station;
and several sites near Rockport. It is native of the eastern U.S. but seems to be spreading
from initial point(s) of introduction. Twice I had Coyotes in the open here.
Then last eve (6/30) I found N. MOCKINGBIRD returning from a baseball
tourney in Pullman and Colfax, WA (Seattle Stars 18yo took 2nd of 22 teams competing).
One was in the westernmost part of Othello at a stop along the south side
of the road; an almost certain second bird was just west of Royal City, perched on a
telephone wire, also on the s. side of the road; but as it was seen from the vehicle only,
I can't say it was 100%. Nothing unusual in Colfax: Nashville Warbler, 3 YB Chats,
Bullock's Oriole and other typical sp on the hillside above MacDonald Park, n. Colfax.
mail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com
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