[Tweeters] Small tern at Lake Joy in Carnation

Paula Crockett/Martin Gibbins binary_star85 at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 7 13:39:49 PDT 2013

Hi Tweets,
Just after noon on Sat., I spotted a small tern flying over the lake. I ran down to the shoreline with my scope and watched it for about 10 min. as it flew around and touched down on the water to catch a small fish. Even with the scope, my view was distant, as the bird was flying close to the opposite shore. The bird appeared slender and streamlined, with a dark bill, a thick black area from just behind the eye to the nape (but not the crown), pale gray wings with no deep black (the leading edge looked slightly darker than the rest of the wing, but I could not make out any obvious black on the wingtips), white belly, and a moderately forked tail with no obvious dark outer webs. It never landed, so I couldn't see the legs. I did not hear any calls. It flew away, and I haven't seen it since. I'm guessing juvenile Common Tern. A nice new "backyard bird!"

Other sightings: I've also been seeing Evening Grosbeaks, Cedar Waxwings, and an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk for the past few days. The hawk has gone after Stellar's Jays and a Pileated Woodpecker without success. The Black-headed Grosbeaks have all left in the past week. I'm now seeing Anna's Hummingbirds, along with a couple of Rufous stragglers. A couple of Pied-billed Grebes seem to have settled in recently, along with three Hooded Mergansers.

Good birding,
Paula Crockett
Lake Joy
Carnation, WA

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