[Tweeters] Fill Phalarope

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Tue May 20 04:05:47 PDT 2014

Hey tweets, yesterday afternoon I was leading a walk around the Fill for Trileigh Tucker's natural history students from Seattle University, when a RED-NECKED PHALAROPE flew into Main Pond for a brief moment. I actually thought it was a Wilson's at first, since that would be far more likely at the Fill in spring, but luckily Trileigh got some great photos, which she has promised to post on her Flickr site.

When I checked my records, I learned that Red-necked Phalaropes used to be more common migrants at the Fill back in the 1940s. On May 20, 1980, Ellen Ratoosh saw 65 of them. Since then, none had been spotted either in spring or fall until 2009, when Evan Houston found one in August. We had a couple more that fall, and one the following August, then nothing until now. What a great bird!!

Also present on Main Pond were a Spotted Sandpiper, a pair of Ring-necked Ducks, three Wood Ducks, a Cinnamon Teal, some baby Mallards, and a female NORTHERN PINTAIL, who has been hanging out here for some days now. A Bullfrog added to the general mix.

After the students left, I decided to stay awhile in hopes the phalarope might return. It never did, but nonetheless, I found it almost impossible to leave. The late afternoon sun covered everything with a golden dusting of light, the swallows were dipping over the pond and giving little squeaks as they flew over my head, the birds were singing but softly as evening approached. Peace filled my soul, a rare thing in the city. Here is a poem for you today:

Unceasing city noise stifles the sibilant wind,
the sweet finch song,
sigh of wings flying by.
I strain to hear Nature's music.
It is here.

- Connie, Seattle

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