[Tweeters] Magnuson Park, 29 March 2013

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Fri Mar 29 18:00:22 PDT 2013

What a welcome change: coming back from 10 days on the east coast, with sub-freezing temperatures and heavy rains, to this wonderful Spring weather in Seattle. Low 50s this morning and hardly a breeze with lots of sun. Delightful and birdy, too.

At least 2 Barn Owls, one at the tower building and another in the wooden box S of the community center. Looks like we may have two families like last year. Later, mid-morning, a Short-eared Owl flushed from the scrub near the shore and flew to the shrubs N of the fins. It stayed there for several passers-by to appreciate.

The swim platform was empty at first light but eventually got to standing room only with over 50 Mew, a couple of Ring-billed and California, and a Herring Gull. Duck numbers are about the same with both Scaups at about 20-30 each. The many Common Goldeneye were doing their courting performances. A couple dozen Western Grebe were scattered across the lake, plus a Red-necked Grebe in full breeding plumage and a Horned Grebe in transition. An intergrade Green-winged Teal was in the small wet area S of the soccer fields.

A Great Blue Heron was perched high in a cottonwood on Promontory Point, occasionally harassed by a crow. Another flew over, heading N. Two Virginia Rail were calling, one from Frog Pond, another from the cattail pond near the parking area.

A male and female Cooper's Hawk were riding the thermals together above Promontory Point, then made a couple of strafing runs out and back. Might we have a nesting pair again after a several year absence? Also on the point was a vocal Pileated Woodpecker and a pair of Downy Woodpeckers finding snags that made good sounding boards.

Two Tree Swallows were checking out the gourds at the S end and a small group of Violet-green Swallows were over the wetlands. The Bushtits seem to have paired up; at least two different pair were putting finishing touches on their nests. Yellow-rumped Warblers (all Audubon's today) were singing, as were the couple dozen Fox Sparrows and almost as many White-crowned (pugetensis). New for the season were many Savannah Sparrows. A few Pine Siskin and American Goldfinch were seen and a Red Crossbill (type 3) flew over the point, calling.

For the day, 65 species; with the Heron, Barn Owl, Pileated, Violet-green and Savannah new for the year, now up to 85 species.
Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S13558912
Scott Ramos

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