[Tweeters] Montlake Fill - Swamp Sparrow NO, Wilson's Warbler YES
josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Sat Jan 31 18:50:03 PST 2015
This afternoon, I went to the Montlake Fill in search of the Swamp Sparrow. I ran into another birder there, but he had been looking for an hour without success in Paulsen Prairie. So we decided to walk to the Southeast Pond area and look out at the cove. A Bald Eagle sat in a tree, and a Great Blue Heron came very close for nice looks. Very nice looks at American Wigeons, gadwalls and buffleheads, a group of about eight adult and immature Trumpeter Swans in Yesler Cove, and a gorgeous male Northern Pintail swimming out of the Yesler Cove.
The sightings board at the parking lot mentioned many Pacific Wrens in the park, and so when I heard a "chimp-chimp" call coming from the raspberry bramble behind me, I thought that that's what it was. I got my binoculars on it, and thought I had the ID clinched when I saw the cocked tail - but then I saw bright yellow. I remembered hearing about this bird on Tweeters, but I had forgotten about it, so this was an unexpected surprise!
The bird was first found in the raspberry thicket south of the lookout bench, between the Boy Scout and Southeast ponds. The bird foraged around for many minutes there, then flew across the trail into the raspberry bushes in the "Boy Scout woods" (next to the Boy Scouts pond - not the grove in High Island, Texas!) where it has been seen by others. Everyone in my group had good looks.
We also saw a Lincoln's Sparrow, a Downy Woodpecker, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and a Marsh Wren (including FOY singing!). In addition, there was a loud flock of blackbirds and starlings singing and calling in the cottonwood treetops, and the sounds of siskins and Anna's Hummingbirds were heard.
So, while I didn't see what I came for, I saw everything else, and something just as good!
Good birding, Joshua Glant
Mercer Island, WA
Josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Trying to write shorter messages to Tweeters!
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