[Tweeters] CLARK'S NUTCRACKER-S (read:swarm) Bellevue-Eastgate foothills!!!

Pterodroma at aol.com Pterodroma at aol.com
Fri Jun 5 19:41:47 PDT 2015

Well that was the strangest and least ever expected yard bird ever for me
at this location! A short time ago, 5:30pm, I was just sitting/resting in
my deck recliner gazing skyward expecting nothing really, but luckily with
bins around my neck and resting on my chest when into the blue, *FOUR*
*CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS* suddenly appeared in my little sliver of overhead clear
sky airspace flying from SSE to NNW just above tall Douglas Fir tree top
level in the lowland/foothills neighborhood of Bellevue's Eastgate, 540 feet
elevation here and a half-mile (as a nutcracker flies) from flying over
I-90 at Exit 11 (150th Ave SE). First, there were three together followed by
the fourth about two seconds later.

I think this is probably quite unprecidented for this lowlandish King
County location and especially in early June, no? Where'd they come from,
where were they going, and...., why?!? What else could they have been other
than Clark's Nutcrackers?; modest size, larger than a robin smaller than a
crow, gleaming white heads (in the sun), darker gray appearing bodies
(shadowed), and shockingly striking contrasting blacks and whites in wings
(trailing secondaries) and tail (outer tail feathers). They flew with quite
distintictive kind of crow like wing beats unlike anything else I ever see
around here although a common & familiar sight in the Mt. Rainier/Paradise
parking lot and closest potential spot of origin to here that I can think of.
Even without the bins, naked eye, there was no doubt that the first three
birds were Clark's Nutcrackers, and then bins ready but not expecting the
fourth, the view in the bins of that stunner left no shred of doubt if there
had ever been any before.

Unfortunately, just flyovers and only a few quick seconds of viewing before
disappearing behind the trees. The odds for a repeat at this location
are probably a virtual zero and those nutcrackers could be anywhere around
here by now, so keep your eyes and minds open for the unexpected.
Unmistakenable. Wow! Sure never had THAT bird on my radar as potential addition to
the 21-year long running yard list here at this locaton.

Richard Rowlett
Bellevue (Eastgate), WA
(Pterodroma AT aol.com)

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