[Tweeters] A few central Skagit Co birds today

Scott scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 30 22:13:54 PDT 2014


I had a few interesting birds this morn up in central Skagit County. First, at Burmaster Rd. (accessed off Hoehn Rd), there were two LESSER YELLOWLEGS in with 10 GREATERS. I was able to collect two photos, which I've posted to my flickr for Dennis and Carol:


This species is rare in spring, and early here, too. The birds were accommodatingly close to the road so I obtained several other photos--please note that on flickr the two shots aren't together. An early BARN SWALLOW was just west of Lyman with V-G and TREE SWALLOWS. Then, along Martin Rd., there were two DARK-EYED (SLATE-COLORED) JUNCOS, the Rocky Mountain form, one of which I was also able to photograph several times: https://www.flickr.com/photos/14115261@N05/13528803053/
Although I've had birds into latter April, this is getting toward the end of the season for them. Juncos were clearly on the move, with a number of sizeable flocks right along the Hwy 20 route east. The two most entertaining birds, however, were (first), one of several RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS. This bird was actively tapping rythyms every few minutes (tattat-tat-tat, tat-tat, tat) on the "ANGLE PARKING" aluminum sign at the Marblemount boat launch. What a crack up when a wild bird makes such good use of our technology for its own purposes! I was able to get right up on the bird, resulting in some very close shots: https://www.flickr.com/photos/14115261@N05/13527767155/
Second place for entertainment value went to a cock RUFFED GROUSE at the NP 213 boat launch, this bird drumming steadily for a mate. It was visible momentarily right where you park, but moved into the ravine forest to perform its ritual. A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK was carrying nest material right over Rt 20 just east of Sedro-W. Last but rarest of them all--right above Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport, there is a residence with many House Sparrows and other birds; there seems to be a feeder in there somewhere. Imagine my amazement when a dead-on, beautiful male CASSIN'S FINCH alighted at the top of a bare (but budding) small tree there, even calling as it took off about 10 seconds later (no chance for photo). This was only my second downslope bird in the county, and seems as though the very few lowland birds we've had (such as in the Sequim area) have been in early May. There were a few HOUSE FINCHES here also. But so continues a very weird finch trend--just a few EVEBEAKS, and no PINE SISKINS--or PURPLE FINCH--all day! Scott AtkinsonLake Stevensmail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com

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