[Tweeters] Discovery Park this morning - 10-4-2013 (Seattle)

Evan Houston evanghouston at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 4 15:41:27 PDT 2013

Hi Tweeters,
I've been focusing on birding Discovery Park more this year, whereas I've previously birded more at the Fill and Magnuson Park.  Of these 3 locations, I'm learning that Discovery Park offers the most potential for a fun unexpected bird, not really that surprising given its size and location.  However, I think Discovery also has the most potential for a "bust" of a birding outing also, as the birds can be spread thin, and the rain, wind, and fog can be more severe in this generally more exposed park.

Discovery also has significantly more turnover than these other 2 locations, and so while 1 day might be sub-par, who knows what could turn up the next day.  Since a number of eBirders, in particular Jordan Gunn and Jon Leland, go birding at Discovery frequently, it's fun to check out what's been seen recently at this hotspot.  By going to this link, you can see that at least 132 species have been recorded just since the start of September!  

The predicted fog was not so bad early this morning, quickly giving way to a nice day.  My highlights, among about 72 species, were:
- Pied-billed Grebe - 2 in the calm water north of West Point, somewhat uncommon in salt water
- 3 Parasitic Jaegers scoped flying south out over the Sound, perhaps some of the 17 (!) seen by Knue and Donahue at Pt. No Pt. yesterday
- raptors: in the south meadow, both expected accipiters and a Merlin were taking turns terrorizing some Flickers, with several close calls
- Common Terns - a couple seen flying off of Shilshole
- Mourning Dove - 1 at West Point
- cooperative Pileated Woodpecker:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhiiKYK9AZM
- Northern Shrike - a juvenile bird in the south meadow, my first of fall
- Barn Swallow - 4 at West Point
- Lapland Longspur - a King Co. "lifer" I've really been hoping to see for a while, especially satisfying since it posed so nicely:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ6m9HrZZho
- a few additional species that made an appearance after being in "hiding" during the stormy weather included Swainson's + Hermit Thrush, Evening Grosbeak, and Purple Finch.

A couple of pictures can be found at my checklist for the day:

Good birding,
Evan Houston
Seattle, WA

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