[Tweeters] From the Fill

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Mon Jul 28 11:20:02 PDT 2014

Hey tweets, Alex MacKenzie's RUDDY DUCK (male in breeding plumage) is still present today, diving among the lily pads of Water Lily Cove, a sunrise of color in the dawn of a blue-sky day. Also in the lilies, a family of young WOOD DUCKS - it's always nice to see that such hole-breeders found the proper-sized hole in urban Seattle.

The Wood Ducks remind me that this is the time of year when you can see how well the breeders have done. American Robins seem to have exploded. I see numerous juveniles with spotted breasts mixed in with the abundant adults. Marsh Wrens did well, too, and Song Sparrows. The Pied-billed Grebes had some success, but nothing like we've seen in some past years. Ditto for the Gadwalls, Mallards, and Cinnamon Teals. A few juvenile Crows have taken to following their parents around, begging for food in a voice that is even more annoying than I remember my toddlers using for similar requests. The two Talaris juvenile eagles are perching in random snags around the Fill, waiting for Ma and Pa to appear with food. When they aren't working hard to provide, the parent eagles seem to be trying to skulk off and hide. How well I remember those days in my own family.

The summer breeders are starting to head out, and you can almost feel the seasons turning as the Earth ponderously tilts away from the Sun and the days get shorter. Red-winged Blackbirds have grown more scarce, as have Tree and Cliff Swallows, Savannah Sparrows, and Common Yellowthroats. I'm always a bit sad to find them gone. On the plus side, the gulls are coming back, and the flocking birds are flocking up, including clouds of Bushtits. I love to watch a Bushtit flock, don't you? especially as the birds fly from bush to bush, like leaves blown in the wind.

New grass is already sprouting abundantly in the burned field, and I think the blackberry will be intimadated for a good while. They say fire is good for prairies, and I can certainly see that here, though a grass fire in the city is nothing to wish for, exactly.

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow from 11 to noon is Fill Walk-About Time, when we try to impress the WashDOT and UWBG people with our commitment to this place and show our respect for the wildlife here so everyone can see it's not just worth preserving, it's worth enhancing. If you can make it and say hi to us as we walk around, that would be so helpful.

Here is a poem for you today:

They leave silently in the night,
our sometime summer birds.
No goodbyes, no fanfare.
Just here one day, missing the next.
Oh, sad missing.

- Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com

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