[Tweeters] Birds over the past week - Rarities, Surprises, and Numbers

Rob Conway robin_birder at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 6 13:50:07 PST 2014

I've spent quite a bit of time watching my feeders and walking in the garden and in Camas / Washougal parks over the past week and had a number of good sightings.
On Wednesday 11/5 I had an adult male Broad Tailed Hummingbird at my feeders. He was sparring with my resident Anna's for spots at the feeder and for flowers of blooming Pineapple Sage and the last Penstemmons. His rosy gorget, prominant white eye stripe and white breast, and rusty color tail along with a loud wing trill and chip notes quite distinctive from Anna's give me great confidence in the ID. I have not seen him since near dark on Wednesday but will keep my eye out.
On Tuesday 11/4 I found a single Cattle Egret in a grassy field near Steamboat Landing in Washougal - the bird was following 2 deer around the field and shrubby margins.
Also on 11/4 I had a Lewis's Woodpecker in a tall Cottonwood along 6th Street in Camas near Exit 12 off of Hwy 14. Pretty lethargic bird that finally followed a flicker that was working the trees and headed to the West.
Surprise birds included 5 Cassin's Finches at my feeders - they were side by side with both Purple (raspberry red) Finches and House Finches allowing for an hour of making up close observations. I had a single Townsend's Solitaire feeding in the Juniper trees, a very late Bullock's Oriole, first ever Brewers Blackbird, and 2 Eur Ring-Necked Doves in the yard.
Between late Monday and late Tuesday there was a constant stream (24 hours) of Snow, Cackling, and Greater White-fronted gees flying over. During the day I observed at least 120 skeins of geese holding a total of 3500 or more individuals pass over. I also saw 2 flocks of Sandhill Cranes, 2 swans, and a large flock of Band-tailed Pigeons. The geese could be heard loudly calling all night - enough that I finally had to turn on my white-noise machine to get to sleep.
Winter birds are back including about 50 Juncos, Song, Fox and White-throated Sparrows, and some large (100+ birds) flocks of Pine Siskins. I put out seed and peanuts for the birds on the deck. I have at least 18 Stellers Jays that come in immediately when I bang the last seeds out of the cup - such cool and smart birds. The presence of both Black-Capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees is constant. The numbers of Red-breasted Nuthatches have decreased, but I still have a few coming in for seed every day.
I'm looking forward to seeing what birds the expected clearing weather over the weekend brings.

Rob Conway
Camas, WA
45.58°N 122.44°W - elevation 310 ft.
robin_birder at hotmail.com

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