[Tweeters] Capitol Forest Rock Wren

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Fri May 23 16:31:14 PDT 2014


I was out birding with Frank Caruso today. We started at the Kent Ponds where we saw the Lazuli Buntings among other expected birds. We then went to Capitol Forest where we spent three hours or so birding mainly up high. We looked for the Nashville Warbler Stefan Schlick found a few days ago at Road B-5000 but didn't find it. We continued on up C-4000 to an intersection between Rock Candy Mountain and Larch Mountain. The DNR paper map I have shows the intersection as C-4000 and C-4420. It is a reliable location for Hermit Warblers and we found four.

We then walked out west on the road the map designates as C-4420 but is actually signed as C-4600. At the fourth slash pile on the clearcut side of that road, four tenths of a mile from the intersection, I watched a sandy brown bird pop up onto a stump below the slash pile. My first thought of Swainson's Thrush was clearly incorrect. There was no eyering, no spots on the breast, and the overall color was too light. it had a slightly curved bill, light supercilium, barred tail, pale chest. The bird was actively looking in various directions and bobbing its body with each directional change. I called Frank over, telling him I thought we had a Rock Wren. Indeed it was. We watched it move around below the slash pile for about fifteen minutes, getting great views and listening to it vocalize. It both called and sang. It would periodically be harassed by a pair of Dark-eyed Juncos that appeared to be nesting in the area.

No guarantee that the wren will still be there tomorrow, but it's worth a look for anyone planning to bird in the Capitol Forest area anyway. If the bird is still there, it should be easy to spot. it was not skulking at all. This appears to be a county first, based on a quick review of the Washington Birder web site.

Carol Riddell
Edmonds, Wa


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