[Tweeters] Magnuson Park, 17 May 2014

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Sat May 17 14:57:53 PDT 2014

It was raining early this morning, but as soon as I parked near the community center, I could hear voices from the owl box in the Doug firs. This kleaking lasted several minutes, repeatedly rapidly, with a period of about half a second. I got out of the car to investigate, but the vocalization stopped. No owls were visible, in the boxes or the trees, so I retreated back to the car. Moments later, a Barn Owl landed on a light standard not 20 feet from the car. After a few minutes, it flew into, almost, the box on the community center roof, then abruptly left. Hissing from inside the box began immediately, but I couldn’t tell how many young were there.

Later, at least 2 FOY Swainson’s Thrush were singing in the groves along the cross-park trail. These are not common in the park so were a very satisfying surprise.

The rain didn’t last and the day turned out quite wonderful. Jen and Matt joined me after a while and we made a short walk through the park, with several nice finds.

A couple of walkers asked about the small rail-like bird they had just seen crossing the trail near the Entrance Pond. Moments later, a Sora began vocalizing as it quickly navigated the pond edge. At one point, we heard a response from the wetlands further east. Nearby at Crescent Pond was a stationary Spotted Sandpiper. And, as the swallows began to proliferate, including Tree, Violet-green, Barn and Cliff, we saw a good number of Vaux’s Swift, then, coming out of the low cloud cover, a pair of Black Swifts (also FOY).

In the meadows, we could hear a couple of Western Wood-Pewees (FOY) and, another surprise, a vocal Yellow-breasted Chat. Presumably the same bird seen earlier in the week, this time it was in the stand of small trees in the West Meadow, not far from the soccer fields. Other warblers included several singing Orange-crowned and Wilson’s, a single Yellow-rumped and a few Common Yellowthroat.

Up on Promontory Point, we could hear a couple Western Tanagers and saw a Golden-crowned Kinglet with its crest quite raised and colorful. On a somewhat sad note, we heard a commotion of Robins and then saw them attacking a Crow. Eventually, the crow desisted and we eventually saw the reason for the commotion as we watched it pluck and devour a baby robin.

For the day, 50 species; with SWTH, WWPE, and BLSW new, 110 for the year.
Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18431637
Scott Ramos

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