[Tweeters] From the Fill

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Wed Mar 5 11:34:49 PST 2014

Hey tweets, on the theory that ducks don’t mind the rain because hey, they’re ducks, I went birding through the droplets to see how everyone is doing, now that spring is here.

Many of the dabblers are paired up already and look almost complacent as they view the strutting and fighting of their slower brethren. The shovelers have been taking their sweet time about getting into breeding plumage, but most have now done the work of molting. Makes me want to get at my own spring spruce-up. I think it’s going to be another banner year for Gadwalls, as there are pairs everywhere I look.

Numbers of Common Mergansers are way down from last year. Ditto for all the scaup species and teal. Even the coots and wigeons seem fewer in number than in the past. Mind you, this doesn’t indicate that overall populations have fallen - I think our ducks have just moved to quieter waters. The pound pound pound of the pile-driver as it works on the 520 bridge would make anyone want to seek peace and quiet elsewhere. Between the bridge and the baseball stadium, not to mention earlier work on Husky stadium, the new track, and the lighted soccer field, we haven’t had real quiet at the Fill for at least 3 years. I am looking forward to the day when everything is complete and the small sounds of nature will be easily heard again.

In the meantime, everyone has been singing, even in the rain. The Ruby-crowned Kinglets in particular have been rollicking up and down the scale, and a Fox Sparrow let loose with his song in the Dime Lot, a rare and welcome event.

Here is a poem for you today, in honor of the female dabbling ducks that I am so very fond of:

She has neither education
nor money, no conversation,
no waist even.
Drab, she blends into the background.
Her mate is enchanted.
So am I.

—Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com

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