[Tweeters] Central Skagit birding 6/7, another new yard bird
scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 8 10:17:51 PDT 2015
Nothing earth-shaking up there but I did the Bryson-to-Marblemount beat yesterday morning. The weather was stupendous, between north Lake Stevens and Marblemount had 68 species. Will post all to EBird later, but somewhat interesting where 3 EASTERN KINGBIRDS at Corkindale, including this one photographed:
(There are also the last of the Russian birds to May 23 on flickr adjacent, for those interested). There were also 6 BANK SWALLOWS and 7 LAZULI BUNTINGS here. The most notable birding events weren't rarities, but behavioral highlights. (1) I spotted what appeared to be a freshly-killed RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER right near the entrance to Rockport State Park. The bird was intact but lying motionless, head flat against the pavement. I turned around to get a better look when--the bird took off! Could not believe it. Then, (2) a HAIRY WOODPECKER was right on Hwy 20, going out of Marblemount toward County Line. It was feeding on something right in the middle of the road. I slowed, honked, but the bird would not yield! I could not avoid it, but was able to slow to about 5 mph as I passed right over it. Amazingly, there was no telltale bump sound on underside of car, and the bird flew from out under the car to safety.
The final (3) highlight was a mystery WILSON'S WARBLER at Barnaby Slough. I heard sing, 5 times over about 15-20 minutes, what sounded like a perfect NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH--a two-part series--very rich, rapid, loud and abruptly-ending. (I've got many years experience with this from AK, TX, MD+). The bird was low along a mucky area at the end of the road--the slough empties here into a stream running west. Yet I could not get a look as there was no response to pishing. I took off for some other passerines but returned about 20 minutes later, when I heard the bird once with the two-part song--but moments later, a very similar single series sounded like WILSON'S WARBLER. I finally got a look as well--sure enough, WILSON'S. My thought is that this bird simply learned a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH song. Strangely enough, it was hanging out in low alders above the stream, reliably for about 15 minutes--atypical habitat for a nesting WILSON'S. But anyone else with experience of WILSON'S alternate songs is encouraged to comment. Final note on Barbaby--I had six RED-EYED and one CASSIN'S VIREO, and the Deer Flies were ferociously abundant.
Last but not least--we had still another new yard bird, a EUR. COLLARED-DOVE (heard only) along the open border with the neighbors, last night.
mail to: scottratkinson at Hotmail.com
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