[Tweeters] Fill today

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Fri Jul 19 15:33:05 PDT 2013

Hey tweets, after an unpleasantly long hiatus from the Fill, due to an accident last month, I am back to toddling around the trails at my usual speed of 100 yph. This morning was gray and cool, which was great because there's nothing I hate more than sweating profusely as I toil around the Loop Trail, my breath coming in gasps, my hair blown back from the speed of my passage, the ground rumbling with the thunder of my stride. Molasses has nothing on me.

At any rate, I arrived at Main Pond to check for migrating shorebirds and found 2 LEAST SANDPIPERS *and* a basic-plumaged WILSON'S PHALAROPE! I've never seen one before in the fall - they are more usual as a spring bird, and even then, most uncommon. I haven't seen any for years. What a thrill. Kathy Slettebak sent me some photos later, and they show the bird has yellow legs. I didn't even know that Wilson's Phalaropes' legs turn yellow in basic plumage and are black in alternate plumage. Did you?

Also on view today: A Green Heron at Canoe Island, Sora on Canal Road near the Lagoon, Merlin coursing past, Cinnamon Teal "teenagers" out and about on several bodies of water, Caspian Tern over the lake, and Ma and Pa Eagle hunting for fish. Ma caught a big one and headed over to Yesler Swamp, where I believe she and Pa are feeding their two fledglings now. The fledglings fluttered out of their nest too early and have spent the last few of weeks on the ground, acting like emus. What a life they had: goofing off on the grass and eating the occasional fish air-dropped by their parents. For awhile, it didn't look like they would ever get the notion that they were supposed to fly. As for the question: what are wings for? the fledglings seemed to think they were useful for balancing while hopping along the curb.

Lastly, a Barred Owl has been regularly reported in Yesler Swamp. I haven't seen it yet, so that is in my future. And when an owl is in your future, life is very good. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com

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