[Tweeters] Edmonds 2014 Roundup

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Wed Dec 31 12:40:43 PST 2014

Hi Tweeters,

We are ending the year with 183 confirmed species seen in Edmonds, one less than in 2013. The discovery of a Redhead drake in January and two Eastern Kingbirds in May increases the city list total to 263. You can request a copy of the just-revised checklist at checklistedmonds at gmail dot com. It is a pdf file. Thanks to Laurie Knittle at Washington Birder for updating the checklist.

All expected geese and ducks put in appearance in 2014. There was one fly-over flock of swans that was unidentified so neither Trumpeter nor Tundra is on the list. The three expected loon species (Red-throated, Common, Pacific) were all seen, as were all grebes except Clark's. The only tubenose this year was an offshore sighting in October, from the public pier, of a lone Leach's Storm-Petrel. The best sightings among the pelicans and herons were a Brown Pelican and a single Great Egret.

Raptor sightings have included the resident Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks. A single Turkey Vulture sighting this fall reflects changes over the years in migration routes for that species. (Diann MacRae, an independent TUVU researcher, used to watch from the Edmonds waterfront as kettles of them crossed the Sound in spring migration.) Falcons seen were American Kestrel, Peregrine, and Merlin. A pair of kestrels was seen over time in one neighborhood such that a nest was possible, but not confirmed.

The expected shorebirds were all seen this year. Code 4 (rare, 5+ records) shorebirds have included Lesser Yellowlegs, Black Turnstone, and Short-billed Dowitcher. We have had no rare jaeger or alcid sightings. Other than Western and Thayer's Gulls, gull and tern sightings have been the expected. All four doves and pigeons have been seen.

Owl sightings have included the resident Barred as well as rarer Barn and Snowy. We missed Common Nighthawk, which is an Edmonds rarity, but thrilled at the sight of 30+ Black Swifts passing over Edmonds in mid-June.

There was one Northern Shrike and a couple of Western Scrub-Jay sightings this fall. There have been several American Pipit sightings this year. A Northern Mockingbird, that showed up in October 2013 to forage in a neighborhood with an abundant crop of red berries, remained until the end of February. Many birders were able to see it without intruding on the neighbors on that quiet street. All expected warblers have been seen, including the rarer--for Edmonds--Nashville and MacGillivray's.

Overall, sparrow diversity has remained low at public birding sites throughout 2014. People may be having a different experience at their yard feeders, but sparrow species and numbers have remained low otherwise since the fall of 2013, particularly the Zonotrichias. For the second year in a row, we have missed a White-throated Sparrow. There were several sightings of Yellow-headed Blackbird and Western Meadowlark at the marsh.

We are benefiting from the return of finches. There are more Purple Finches around again as well as good numbers of Pine Siskins. We can only hope than one of the large siskin flocks will contain a redpoll for 2015.

Happy New Year,

Carol Riddell
Edmonds, Wa

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