[Tweeters] Red Crossbills + Gull Spot

Joshua Glant josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Fri Jan 30 18:34:36 PST 2015

Hello Tweets,

I have been privileged like so many birders to have witnessed a Siskinvasion in my neighborhood. Since my lifer flock in December, I have heard siskins almost every morning without fail. Mixed in with the siskin sounds are a more exciting call: that of the Red Crossbill.

I had always imagined Red Crossbills to be one of those special birds that you had to go out and hike just to see them. Therefore, it has been a great surprise that a flock of 30+ crossbills has been roaming my neighborhood and others on Mercer Island since late August! I have grown used to hearing the chip-chip of Type 3 crossbills in the treetops of tall firs. A few days ago, however, I heard a different call. While the Type 3 call is high tik-tik, the call I heard had a fuller, lower quality, almost like comparing the Audubon's Warbler callnote to the lower Myrtle. The recording I got is too faint to hear anything. Any ideas on what type it could have been?

Also, I have finally remembered to mention this: has anyone else noticed the "gull spot" next to I-90? In a small, 500 square-foot area of Lake Washington, just north of where the I-90 W bridge reaches the Seattle side. On sunny days and rainy ones too, a flock of 100 seagulls floats there, with more coming and going. Of course, you should only look at it from the passenger seat, but what do you Tweeters think? What causes this? Is it a current that rises there? Is it the calmest spot around? Is there some feature of underwater geography that makes it appealing?

Good birding, Joshua Glant

Mercer Island, WA

Josh.n.glant at gmail.com

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