[Tweeters] Six-warbler day in Edmonds yesterday

Jon Houghton jon.houghton at hartcrowser.com
Mon May 1 14:57:09 PDT 2017

Hi Tweets - Yesterday, Renee Koval-Huenuqueo and I led a group of enthusiastic birders on a half-day, SAS fieldtrip, "North of the Border', i.e., just north of the King Co. border. Highlights of the day (for me, at least) were good looks at six species of warblers, missing only Yellow and MacGillivray's from those expected in the area this time of year. We began our morning in Edmonds, at the Willow Creek hatchery on Pine Street where light rain seemed to dampen the dawn chorus, but we did manage to see pairs of Downy Woodpeckers and Red-breasted Sapsuckers. Rain was occasionally heavier while we spent an hour and a half on the trails in Yost Park. Here we picked up three more woodpeckers (Am. Flicker, Hairy and Pileated), and our first four warblers (Black-throated Gray, Wilson's, Townsends, and Orange-crowned). As usual, Yost was good for a variety of typical lowland woods birds, including Hermit Thrush and Pacific-slope Flycatchers. Band-tailed Pigeons were heard but not seen. The rain ended by the time we got to Schreiber Lake Park in Lynnwood, enabling us to make a leisurely circuit of the lake and some side trails. Here, we found several Yellow-rumped Warblers (including at least one very bright Myrtle) and Common Yellowthroat, and had better looks at Townsend's and BT-gray. We had fly-overs by Great-blue Heron and Osprey and saw a couple of remarkably small Mallard broods: a mama Mallard with only one chick, and, in a different pond two chicks with no apparent mama. We then went down to the Edmonds waterfront on Sunset to scope for some cool marine birds. A moored log in the underwater park area provided a roost for a nice pair of Harlequin Ducks (interesting in that I had just seen a pair in the Cle Elum River last Thursday!?) and about 30 Sanderlings. About 300 - 500 Brant were hanging out and feeding on eelgrass along the low tide shoreline to the north and there were substantial numbers of Horned Grebes and a pair of Rhinoceros Auklets in nice breeding plumage. Surprisingly, only a single Pelagic Cormorant was seen, where through the winter there had been substantial numbers of all three species. Also, no loons or mergansers remained in the area but a substantial mixed flock of Barrow's and Common Goldeneye were feeding on the pilings at the ferry slip. Our last stop was the Edmonds Marsh where we found no shorebirds, a few ducks (GW Teal, Gadwall, Mallard), Marsh Wren, and Red-winged Blackbirds. In all, a total of 61 species were seen and several in the group picked up multiple life birds; all in all, a pleasant trip with a good bunch of people, making for: Happy Birding!! - Jon Houghton, Edmonds

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