[Tweeters] Magnuson Park, 18 October 2013

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Fri Oct 18 19:17:53 PDT 2013

The chilly, foggy morning only got colder until close to noon, staying in the upper 40s, fortunately, without a breeze. But the passerines were quite active and abundant in places. Joe Sweeney and I were hoping for owls while standing between the meadows (to no avail), but instead we were treated to a party of 8 sparrows within a 30 foot radius: Towhees, Juncos, Savannah, Song, Fox (only heard singing), White-crowned, Golden-crowned and White-throated. A little while later, we completed the trick with several Lincoln's Sparrows. The White-throated (tan-striped) was a state-first for Joe and only my second at the park.

We also stumbled upon several locations with trees full of Bushtits, both Kinglet species, more Fox Sparrows and most of the regulars. At one such location, along the south fence line, the large group of small birds were obviously perturbed--we eventually saw the reason: an immature Cooper's Hawk sitting in the middle of a Doug Fir.

The first Bufflehead (at least 8) of the season showed up off the swim platform but we couldn't see much farther due to the heavy fog. At the north end of the park, however, at Pontiac Bay, the fog lifted some to reveal several Western Grebe, a flock of at least two dozen Killdeer along the marina shore and a solitary Spotted Sandpiper in the sail lagoon.

On the swim platform were many dozen Mew Gulls, plus a handful each of Ring-billed, California and Glaucous-winged. A Herring Gull was seen later in Pontiac Bay. Other notables included:

Varied Thrush eating Madrona Berries on Promontory Point, where a Hermit Thrush was also giving its chuff call.
Dozens of Yellow-rumped warblers (at least one Myrtle; the rest were Audubon's), several locations
Several Townsend's Warblers in mixed flocks
Cedar Waxwing - a large flock flew into a Madrona stand near the lake shore
California Quail calling from the east slope of Kite Hill
Brewer's Blackbird - female on the bunker railing near the swim beach; only my second record for the park (last one was in 2009)

For the day, 53 species. With WTSP and BRBL new, 137 species for the year.
Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15435816
Scott Ramos

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