[Tweeters] Magnuson Park, 21 March 2014

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Fri Mar 21 19:11:01 PDT 2014

The first full day of Spring started out below freezing but by mid-day was pushing 50 degrees. A breeze made multiple layers a necessity, especially near the water, but it was a bright and beautiful day. I started out early, to look for owls, then was joined mid-morning by Evan Houston. After our walkabout in the park, we made a detour to the NOAA campus to search for the bluebird mentioned in a second-hand report.

The Barn Owls are back and preparing to nest: one pair was perched in the topmost window of the fire tower building while another pair was flying in and out of the trees near the nest box by the community center. Other notables included the following:

Cackling Goose - a skein of about 40 birds flew southward over the park early; FOY
Aythya ducks - a few Scaup, Greater and Lesser, persist, as do a few Ring-necked Ducks. One male Ring-necked was illuminated by almost perfect sunlight, clearly showing off its neck ring.
California Quail - near Kite Hill; getting vocal now
Western Grebe - only about a dozen; the strong north wind probably had an effect of reducing visible numbers
Cooper's Hawk - 2 in the park, male and female; one at NOAA, a juv. female
Bald Eagle - 6+ were flying several hundred feet straight up from the south end of the park, riding the thermals in very wide arcs
Virginia Rail - at least 4 were calling, each from a different marshy area; population definitely increasing
Gulls - on the swim platform were about 8 California, 2 Ring-billed, 3 Glaucous-winged, 1 Herring, and more than 70 Mew
Band-tailed Pigeon - 2 flying over the south end; FOY
Anna's Hummingbird - many; one female nest building on Promontory Point about a foot away from a nest abandoned a couple of weeks ago
Belted Kingfisher - the pair continues to be active in Kingfisher Basin
Yellow-rumped Warbler - several Audubon's and Myrtle, plus one hybrid: a male in breeding plumage showng a bright white throat patch with a contrasting yellow center
White-crowned Sparrow (pugetensis) - several, singing
Savannah Sparrow - many, FOY
MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD - a lone female was foraging, actively, in the meadow areas near the sound garden at NOAA (map: http://goo.gl/maps/4bdFT). It moved about several favored perches in the area. A new park bird for me.
Photo: https://picasaweb.google.com/104613265151815506340/MagnusonParkRecentPhotos?noredirect=1#5993400570416344754
Video: http://youtu.be/Zpg3a_XJU3w
Before we met up, Evan had the continuing Palm Warbler.

For the day, 61 species; with CACG, BTPI, MOBL and SAVS new, 82 species for the year.
Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S17541699
Scott Ramos

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