[Tweeters] Re: American Dipper at Greenlake today

Martin Muller martinmuller at msn.com
Sun Oct 18 20:27:51 PDT 2015

Barry, Tweeters,

I have one single record (with photographs) of an immature (“mottled" breast, white eyelid) American Dipper at Green Lake (note spelling of location….I still get hung up on that even though I moved away from the lake 14 years ago…sorry). The date was….drumroll….October 14, 1989.
It was seen at the dock in the southwest corner at the Aqua Theater that Saturday morning, not during one of my 568 senses of the lake (many Wednesdays during the period 1988 - 2001) or thousands of other visits to the lake during that same period. So I would call this a rare visitor to the lake.

Today (before having seen the tweeters digest) I happened to visit the lake, in preparation for a visit later in the week with a third-grade class from one of our local schools.

I didn’t get to walk the whole lake, but spent 2 hours at the northern end.
A female Green-winged Teal was resting at the base of the Island (Waldo J. Dahl Wildlife Refuge aka Duck Island) along with a dozen or so Common Mergansers.
Other birds seen (in random order):
American Coot
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron (3 seen at the same time)
Mew Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Pied-billed Grebe (a dozen along the northern end of Aurora - didn’t make it further south to where the greatest concentration usually is)
Black-capped Chickadee
American Crow
Steller’s Jay
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Song Sparrow
House Finch
American Goldfinch
Bald Eagle (plunged down and briefly floated on the water, came up empty and then spent at least an hour drying off on the island)
While watching Pied-bills one of them twice pointed out (cocked an eye skyward and I always follow that kind of lead) an Osprey. The first one circling low and disappearing to the west, the second one up high heading southwest 20 minutes later, so my guess is two individual birds.
While still watching the Pied-billed Grebe (I was trying to catch video of feather-eating behavior) heard a crow give its typical guttural rolling note indicating a crow-sized predator and sure enough an immature Cooper’s Hawk (with a crow on its tail) crossed from Aurora to the Island (vanished in the trees below the perched eagle). The Coop was decidedly smaller than the crow so I’m guessing male.
And finally there were two female Belted Kingfishers in the area (one chasing the other right in front of me, so no doubt there).

Martin Muller, Seattle

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