[Tweeters] Signs of spring
clsouth at u.washington.edu
Mon Mar 24 09:46:08 PDT 2014
Late in the afternoon, while grilling steaks, I saw both a White-throated Sparrow (15 feet distance) and a female Varied Thrush. I think that the male Varied Thrushes (2) have already left--I don't hear them in my yard area anymore, although there was still one singing about a block away.
I saw my FOY female Rufus Hummingbird. She was at the front feeder. The back feeder, where the Anna's females are guzzling down, has been being emptied at a three day rotation for the last two weeks.
The front feeder has a Black-capped Chickadee who has learned to sip the nectar on the ports without bee guards. I leave at least one without a guard this time of year, just to be able to watch it.
clsouthwick at q.com
On Mon, 24 Mar 2014, Scott wrote:
> Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2014 08:24:58 -0700
> From: Scott <scottratkinson at hotmail.com>
> To: "tweeters at u.washington.edu" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
> Subject: [Tweeters] Signs of spring, Tiny's Land, n. Lake Stevens
> Yesterday we took advantage of drying conditions and spent pretty much the whole day working in the
> yard. Highlights were a FOS female RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD at the feeder; a single TREE SWALLOW heading north
> (rare here in the woods); and a pair of RED CROSSBILLS in tall cedars. I was relieved to see them
> because as elsewhere regionally, finches have collectively been just about non-existent this winter.
> Down in Marysville the first pugetensis WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW could be heard singing near the "Y". Back
> at Tiny's Land, we also had a (SOOTY) FOX SPARROW, a bird that apparently wintered in the increasing
> bramble thicket on the north side of the lawn.
> There were plenty of other indicators of spring at Tiny's Land. While cleaning the pond, I detected
> three PACIFIC TREE-FROGS, including one partial albino! This was the strangest color morph I'd ever
> seen; it was milky whitish mostly, but had a few odd tiny blue spots on the back. The eyes and mask were
> the regular colors. A W. ROUGH-SKINNED NEWT was also found in the pond, along with the usual numbers of
> leeches, water fleas, and others; no water tigers yet. The most interesting creature to put in a
> showing, however, was a NORTHWESTERN SALAMANDER (Amylostoma gracile) that had taken up residence where
> one of the carved mega-mushrooms had fallen over in a recent storm. What an impressive creature--it took
> up the striking defensive posture right away, raising its back and pointing its head toward the
> ground--and ejecting a white milky paste from the back of its head and upper tail. Remarkable!
> VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS are already casing out their traditional nest site, while a HUTTON'S VIREO was
> singing away in the tall cedar-alder forest north. About 26 bird species seen/heard yesterday there.
> Scott Atkinson
> Lake Stevens
> mail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com
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