[Tweeters] Discovery Park (King Co.) this morning, 9/10/2015

Evan Houston evanghouston at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 18:20:49 PDT 2015

Hi Tweeters,

It was not too surprising that birding with Ryan Merrill and Jen Kunitsugu
at Discovery today resulted in an increased number of nice sightings for
the park. Highlights among a group of total ~65 species, then a few more

- Harlequin Duck - 4 flying around West Point several times.

- SURFBIRD - 1 juvenile bird flew in to West Point. This was a highlight
for at least 3 reasons. 1) I've always thought this species has a subtle
pizzazz that can be included in the "economy of style" category. 2) It was
my first seen at the park. 3) It was fun to observe its "thought process"
in migration as it first came in from high and landed and rested for a
minute, then flew off at least half a mile away, rose higher in the air,
and decided the best thing to do was to fly back to spend 10 more minutes
at West Point.

- Parasitic Jaeger - at least 2 adults and 1 subadult, with the adults
spending some time perched on floating logs out in the sound.

- Common Tern - a flock of 9 heading north, fun to compare their flight
style to the nearby "behemoth" gulls.

- Eurasian-collared Dove - 1

- Woodpeckers included a first for me at the park - of the 5 regular
species, the only one we missed seeing/hearing was Downy! There were at
least 2 Red-breasted Sapsucker.

- American Kestrel - 1 female bird migrating south over the meadow,
stopping for a few seconds on occasion to hover.

- Western Scrub-Jay - I had been anticipating seeing this species in the
near future because of all of the Steller's Jays moving around in the park
recently - today we saw not 1 but 6!

- HORNED LARK - Ryan was able to spot and then identify these birds in
flight - they came in to West Point and then without landing headed off
over the water towards the Kitsap Peninsula.

- Brown Creeper - one dropped down to inches above the ground in a tree
trunk right in front of us while foraging - so close it was virtually
within "kicking distance"!

- Golden-crowned Sparrow - an obvious influx of birds since Tuesday.

The radar was thick with birds last night, indicating lots of migrants
moving south, but perhaps with the clear weather many birds continued on
rather than dropping down into Discovery. We noted only 5 warbler species
and no vireos other than the resident Hutton's - the chickadee flocks
obviously didn't contain as many neotropical migrants as this past weekend.

Action off of West Point was good early this morning, and it likely helped
that it was about midway between tides. Should prove to often be
productive here over the next couple of months - birding at Discovery at
general can often be particularly good from late August through November.
On eBird, there are 113 species reported at the park just since September
1, with 175 for the year.

Good birding,
Evan Houston
Seattle, WA
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