[Tweeters] Why can't a Swamp...be more like a Tree?

Jon Houghton jon.houghton at hartcrowser.com
Fri Feb 17 17:44:51 PST 2017

After a nice scout trip for an SAS field trip on Sunday, Sarah Peden and I decided to take a stab at finding the Am. Tree Sparrow that has been around Lindgren Road just NE of Mt Vernon for several weeks. Having dipped 3 times (so far) on the Swamp Sparrow at Lake Union, I wasn't overly optimistic, but felt like we had a pretty good idea from Gary Bletsch, where it had been. Someone has thoughtfully dumped a load of roofing debris (with nails) in the middle of the road so it's necessary to park about halfway down to the end of the road. We were greeted by a dog walker (w. 3 rambunctious ones) who confessed that they had 'dislodged' a number of ducks from the wetland just south of the road, but we figured that might not have disturbed the sparrow population too much. We walked down the road to where some likely looking brushy habitat begins, but found only Song Sparrows in the first bunch of brush. We walked on to the yellow steel gate across the road and wondered what to do next. I was fumbling with my phone to try and find the detail of where the birds have been, when Sarah exclaimed "I've got it!" Sure enough, she did! We got pretty good looks before that bird dropped down behind the copse of red-twig dogwood tangled in blackberries. We walked around behind the brush and soon found not one, but two American Tree Sparrows which allowed great looks and OK ID photos.

Earlier in the day, we had missed the Golden Eagle on Boe Road but saw at least 6 Short-eared Owls, split between Eide Rd. and the East 90, three falcon species and a whole lot of Snow Geese and both species of Swan. Also, many Long-tailed Ducks visible from the Samish Island Co. park. Happy Birding! - Jon Houghton, Edmonds

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