[Tweeters] Montlake fill (Seattle) game bird? 9/6/2015

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Tue Sep 8 09:06:08 PDT 2015


Dear Chris, congrats on seeing this bird recently. She has been hanging around the southern part of the Fill nearly all year, sometimes around Main Pond and sometimes as far east as the CUH parking lot. Ring-necked Pheasants used to breed commonly at the Fill years ago when the place was overgrown with Himalayan blackberry. California Quail used to breed here too. When the blackberry was cleared out, these game birds had few places to hide from the coyote pack that was prowling around the neighborhood. The birds didn't last long. After that, for many years there were no pheasants or quail to be seen. Nowadays, the occasional one shows up, usually not for long. I believe the quail are probably wandering over from Magnuson Park, where they seem to be breeding again. Hard to know where a pheasant might come from, although I did run into a woman a couple of years ago who said she'd been thinking of introducing them here. It seems she grew up near a game farm and thought pheasants made a happy addition to the outdoors. I thought I'd talked her out of doing anything by telling her the coyotes would probably do in any pheasants, as they had before, but maybe I wasn't as persuasive as I thought. Or maybe there is still a population of pheasants nearby. As birders often say, birds do fly. Or walk.

On a different note, the songbird migration is in full swing at the Fill. Three days ago, we had what almost amounted to a fallout, though the weather was beautiful. A flock of more than 200 warblers, vireos, and flycatchers foraged in the alder grove southwest of the kiosk for about an hour. There were so many birds, I could hardly look at a branch without finding somebody on it. Most were Yellow Warbers of both sexes and different ages. There were also a large number of Orange-crowned Warblers and some Common Yellowthroats, along with a few Black-throated Grays and a Townsend's. Warbling Vireos were numerous, and there was at least one Red-eyed Vireo, unusual for the Fill. The flycatchers were all Willows, at least the ones I saw. Overhead was a flock of Violet-green Swallows and Barns, mixed in with some Vaux's Swifts and one BLACK SWIFT being chased by a hummingbird. Very comical. I usually think of Black Swifts as regal birds, they are so big and graceful, compelling even. Seeing this one trying to avoid the hummingbird was like watching Queen Elizabeth swatting at mosquitoes. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com


> On Sep 7, 2015, at 9:59 PM, Chris Dallara <sciguy007 at gmail.com> wrote:

>

> Thanks! I'm completely new to game birds and so I missed this in my field guide and eBird. It looks spot on compared to photos online and makes sense for the location. New lifer and first game bird :).

>

> Chris

>

> On Mon, Sep 7, 2015 at 9:44 PM Hal Michael <ucd880 at comcast.net <mailto:ucd880 at comcast.net>> wrote:

> Kinda looks like a hen Ring-necked Pheasant

>

>

>

> Hal Michael

> Science Outreach Director, Sustainable Fisheries Foundation

> Olympia WA

> 369-459-4005

> 360-791-7702 (C)

> ucd880 at comcast.net <mailto:ucd880 at comcast.net>

>

> I've been to Montlake Fill and other Seattle hotspots numerous times and have never seen anything like the bird in the album linked below. I didn't see it in flight, but a friend that was with us said it was flying and landed about 20 feet away from her, which is where I was able to snap photos. We were near the southeast corner of the large pond along the southern portion of the waterfront trail at about 2pm on Sunday. It was crow-sized or a bit larger and looks like a game bird to me, but i don't see any records in eBird for any of those. Can anyone help identify this?

>

> https://imgur.com/a/usk2j <https://imgur.com/a/usk2j>

>

> Chris

> Seattle, WA

>

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