[Tweeters] central Skagit Co highlights: possible EASTERN PHOEBE, AM. RESTARTS

Scott scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 20 18:44:16 PDT 2016


Anne Winskie and I were back at the Rockport-to-Marblemount beat today, and had one more species (67) than the outing earlier this month. A possible EASTERN PHOEBE was present at the southwest corner of the Marblemount boat launch in riparian growth. The bird called no less than 7 times, but despite this could not be spotted high in the cottonwoods. Although this species' call note is distinctive, for something this rare (would be a county first), a visual is a must. The very occasional Hammond's Flycatcher can sound like a far-off Eastern Phoebe to this observer's ear, but this bird's calls were louder and sweeter-sounding. The only associates nearby were several RED-EYED VIREOS.

We had a 10-warbler day also with the highlight being arrival AM. REDSTARTS. A first-year male was seen and heard at the southern County Line pond (this is a single enclosed pond, just southwest along Hwy 20 from the main County Line "agg" ponds, for which you park right by the Whatcom County sign on the south side of the highway). A second redstart sang in response to the first-year male at one point from the other side of the Skagit River. Then, a third singing bird was heard at the NP 213 Rd. still closer to Marblemount.

At the Marblemount Boat Launch, we also found a CHIPPING SPARROW, photographed here:


Also notable for this site were 17 TURKEY VULTURES, the majority in a single "kettle", which seemed a beefy count for a non-migrant group, and a high of at least 12 RED-EYED VIREOS (there were likely more).

They seemed to sing at every stop.

A male YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD flew over the main water at Barnaby Slough later in the day, but there was no sign of the recent E. Kingbirds.

Finally, although the main County Line ponds yielded no surprises, we did have point-blank views of BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLERS, including this male that allowed a decent photo:


Scott Atkinson

Lake Stevens

mail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com

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