[Tweeters] I Saw A Bird!

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Tue May 26 21:38:29 PDT 2015

Oh, sure, I'm alway's pestering Tweeters with my non-bird nature sightings, but this post is only about birds. Really!
Last night I bopped over to Fort Worden, here in Port Townsend, at the tail end of the Memorial day, and a lot of certain other animals had "left the campground", so to speak. That left me to a quiet stroll in Birdland. It was real nice. Just walking out to the end of the Marine Science Pier and back, I saw some neat birds.
Actually, some I just heard. The first one being a singing Swainson's Thrush up on the hill - the first one I've heard this spring. If this little bird walk was a full -course meal, hearing that thrush was like having dessert first. Then, right near me in a Shore Pine near the start of the pier, a bunch of Brown-headed Cowbirds piled in (also my years first down here) and blurbled their wonderfully liquid call! That was like have a second course of dessert, because I love that sound. I know that many consider these guys to be Thugs in Birdland, but after hearing that call I ,personally, am willing to cut them some slack.
I was doing pretty good on my Birdland tour, since I'd only got about 25 feet from my truck at this point. Continuing down the pier a bit more, the loud ol' Purple Martins were plainly hearable. Port Townsend Martins, both here at the Marine Science Center nest boxes, and at nest boxes put up at the PT boat basin, all seem to be doing fabulously well. Whoever put these nest boxes up deserves some sort of award - I guess the Martins are the award.
Moving right along, a few more feet, I saw a single Caspian Tern fly by, which amusingly, I thought, didn't blast the airwaves with a single sound. Pigeon Guillemots were snooping around the waters off the end of the pier. In the nearby dunes, both White-crowned Sparrows , and Savannah Sparrows (with their almost insect-like voice) were singing.
Tonight, I was back down at the pier again, for a sanity break, and things were pretty quiet - except for the Martins. Other swallows were about though, and I was somewhat surprised to see a half-dozen Barn Swallows sitting on the pier pavement, along with a couple of Violet- greens, picking at something on the tarmac. I was just about ready to get a closer look, when I noted movement just about three feet away to my side. It was a bunch of Rock Pigeons also poking at something on the pier, which turned out to be a pile of clean barnacle shells - maybe the result of some aquarium cleaning project? Anyhoo, the Pigeons were ignoring nearby me , and really snorting down these shells. Need calcium?
I then checked out where the swallows were pecking, and also found some few barnacle fragments there also, but maybe they were just picking up grit. I don't know.
Jeff Gibsonwatching birds inPort Townsend Wa

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