[Tweeters] Larsen Lake Redpolls again, LHG-Bellevue

Pterodroma at aol.com Pterodroma at aol.com
Sat Mar 23 12:21:43 PDT 2013

The Larsen Lake Common Redpolls were back this morning! Guess they
haven't left town yet after all, but the circuit they appear to be working must
be huge. Where next today? Juanita Bay?

notes from the field:

23Mar – Surprise, surprise!! The Larsen Lake COMMON REDPOLLS were back,
first located right off in the usual and now familiar to many 11 white-barked
birch tree cluster SE of Larsen Lake at the forks in the trails ~50 feet
west of the back side parking lot behind the old library, now “Teen Center”
(15228 Lake Hills Blvd). First spotted at 0848, I stayed with them until
they all finally flew out at 0913 and flew away straight north at which
time I got a my best count of 32 individuals, about one third of which were
nice fancy pink-chested adult males. Last seen March 3, by now and 20 days
later with no subsequent re-sights or reports, I was sure the Redpolls were
gone for good. In the end, I was surprised there were actually that many
this morning since the best counts I could ever get while they were feeding
in the birches was ~21-23, but they were kind of scattered in several
trees. Another 4 birds that departed ~30 seconds later that I never did see
perched may also have been Redpolls, but could have been Siskins since when
they flew out, they went out then circled back and disappeared behind the
tall hemlock/cedar grove to the west. The Redpolls while in the birch cluster
eventually worked their way down until at least 2/3 or the total gathering
were in the lowest branches nearest the trail right above the blue LHG
signpost, too close for focus with my Leica 10X and I had to back away a few
steps. By then, the sun was out and getting brighter by the minute, thus
the viewing was the best yet. Even a few passers-by got into the act, and
for those interested enough, I was quite happy to share the splendid viewings
by passing around my bins.
Once all the Redpolls departed, I continued my journey west and clockwise
around Larsen Lake (13 wigeon including the hybrid male EUWI x AMWI
continue, about a half-dozen Violet-green Swallows (no Tree) were sweeping back
and forth low over the lake, plus most of the other routine usuals).
Reaching the NE corner 25 minutes later (0938), I found at least part of the
Common Redpoll flock, at least 15 birds, maybe more, scattered about in the
lower third of that tall single lonesome white-barked birch where all of this
most generous dose of Larsen Lake Redpoll mania first started back on
February 4, and others scattered about near and on the ground picking about in
the bark mulch litter and perched in the little sproutling willows that have
been planted there as part of the restoration work.
Elsewhere around the greenbelt this morning, the Barn Owl continues to
provide nice viewing from it’s current conveniently chosen open spot in the
evergreen grove just north of the windmill. A beautiful adult male
Red-breasted Sapsucker was attached to and drumming on the all new fence line &
wooden post along 156th. Expecting what exactly from a brand new pressure
treated wooden post, I don’t know, but the drumming sounded like he was tapping
out something in morse code. The Hutton’s Vireos were once again
energized and insistently vocal, especially the pair around the PL parking lot and
lawn. The SE Larsen Lake Killdeer remained secure and calm on her nest
north of the old library and the likely nesting pair were in the NE field at
SE 16th. 2.3hrs, 41 species.

Richard Rowlett
Bellevue (Eastgate), WA
Pterodroma AT aol.com

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