[Tweeters] Fill today: Vesper Sparrow

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Mon Sep 30 12:08:17 PDT 2013

Hey tweets, I had wild day at the Fill today, dodging sheets of rain and trying to keep my hat from whirling away in the wind. But if you don't go, you don't see, and today I saw: a VESPER SPARROW. Kathy and Arn Slettebak saw it yesterday but weren't absolutely certain about its identity, so I was prepared today to huddle on my camp stool for as long as it took. Luckily, I did not have to wait for geological time to advance. The sparrow flushed from Hoyt Meadow almost as soon as I arrived. It flew into a bush on the edge of the slough north of Canoe Island, then circled around and landed in a tree on the edge of SW Pond. From there it flew onto the Loop Trail and foraged almost at our feet. A class of birders was there to share in the glory of seeing this visitor from the East. It had a slight beige wash across the breast, prominent white eye-rings, a hint of chestnut in the scapulars (only visible when the bird turned to the side and sun came out to shine directly on it), and white outer tail feathers. It is not a shy bird, though it did move away when dog-walkers came by. Given the foul weather predicted for the rest of the day, I would guess it will still be around tomorrow.

Also on view, two TURKEY VULTURES circled past; four BAND-TAILED PIGEONS flew by; a juvenile HOODED MERGANSER dove for fish in Main Pond; and hordes of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were concentrating their attentions in the Alder Grove kitty-corner from the kiosk and throughout the shrubbery around the Wedding Rock.

There may well have been other rarities present today - the wind was giving all the birds turbo-boosters, so you had to be quick with your binocs or else the bird would be blown away in a whoosh of feathers. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com

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