[Tweeters] Roaring Creek (Kititas Co.) Harlequin Duck

amy schillinger schillingera at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 4 23:06:02 PDT 2013

While on a day trip to our property on the back side of Lake Keechelus on Roaring Creek today my mother and I had a female Harlequin duck just below us. It was resting and preening on a small island in the creek for awhile, then entered the creek and swan around in the fast currents. We have owned this property since the 80's and this is a first for us. Didn't see any sign of young so I'm not sure if she is nesting nearby or was just passing through.
I also heard a chipping sound similar to a Junco but weaker. I gave a gentle pish to see what it was and a Townsend's Warbler just about took my face off. It stayed only feet from me for a few minutes chipping at me while gathering bugs. Where was my camera when I needed it! I presume it is nesting nearby but then so are many others. My guess is that at any time during the summer months I can hear 6-10 Townsend's as well as several Black-throated Gray's. We do get Hermit Warblers as well but I haven't seen any this summer yet.
Down at the lake the Spotted Sandpiper's immediately began calling at us. I looked down and saw a cotton ball with legs scurrying away to hide under a bush. My mother found the eggs later (hatched) and one was in fairly good condition so I took a picture of it. So cute! I found it suprising that such a small bird lays such a large egg. Beautiful coloration. Dippers are almost always guaranteed as well near the mouth of the creek and as expected, were there today calling. White-crowned Sparrows and Yellow Warlbers nest near the creek as well.
Red Crossbills and Evening Grosbeaks everywhere, Hermit Thrushes, and plenty of Common Nighthawks near dusk as well. On our drive out a large brown owl flew across the road but I didn't get a good enough look at it to call what it was.
Amy Schillinger-PowellRenton, WAschillingera at hotmail.com

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