Eastern Kingbird in Langus Riverfront Park trail, Everett
kevinpurcell at pobox.com
Sat May 30 15:00:54 PDT 2015
I was birding with Ed Siegel this morning and saw two Eastern Kingbirds together on the Langus Riverfront Park trail, Everett.
The first sighting was about 150m after the Langus Riverfront Park trail (on Smith Island) turns north from the Snohomish River then turns northeast(ish).
The location is on the trail about due east of "Island" of Smith Island on the map above. The "1.5 mile/2.0 mile" trail marker is perhaps 100m(?) north of the location. Just south of the location the trail pavement is cracked due to earth movement.
We saw a single medium-sized black and white bird overall with lots of contrast with gis of large flycatcher was perched 3m distant in the bare branches above brambles between the trail and the slough.
Black bill, black cap, white cheeks, black back and wings, black tail with white squared tip. Bird would fan tail to show a black fan with white edge.
No song though one brief non-descript sound.
The bird stayed in view for several minutes. Neither of us recognized it but we did think it an odd bird. I took notes.
The bird then moved to a lower perch and then into the brambles below out of sight. Viewing time of maybe five minutes.
We then consulted Silbley Western birds looking at the flycatchers to compare our description to the book. We IDed it as an Eastern Kingbird.
Fifteen minutes later as we walked north up the trail a black and white bird flew past use and across the trail and landed on the same branch. I ran back to observe it from behind with the viewing direction against sun had changed. Black head, black back and wings (with white edging), black tail with white tip. Bird disappeared into brambles again. Closest distance was perhaps 20m.
Further up the trail (perhaps 150m) another 20 minutes later. We spotted two black and white birds perched up on the opposite (western) side of the trail. Both had black bill, black cap, white cheeks with black tail with white squared tip. I could see the back and wings was actually dark grey rather black again with feather edges in white. Both birds stayed put for a couple of minutes then flew north. Distance was about 15m.
Similar species: I've seen Western Kingbirds on many occasions. Similar gis. I've not seen an Eastern Kingbird previously.
Other species: It was not an Olive-sided Flycatcher (not dark or contrasty enough). I've seen many of those. There were Willow Flycatchers in the area but clearly bigger and more contrasty than those birds.
No photographs. I have a new Nikon P600 superzoom for "id photos" but didn't bring it with me today because I didn't want to fiddle with a camera (ugh!).
If a rare bird report is wanted email me and I'll write it up properly and photograph my notes (and a drawing of the bird).
Good luck refinding these birds.
Kevin Purcell (Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA)
kevinpurcell at pobox.com | @kevinpurcell
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