[Tweeters] Snohomish Yard Birding
xjoshx at gmail.com
Fri Oct 13 21:29:43 PDT 2017
It's been a good week yard birding from my house south of Snohomish.
The week started with a new yard bird (#143), a California Scrub-Jay
briefly landed in a high conifer above my house before continuing
south. I haven't seen it since, so perhaps it was just passing through
looking for greener pastures (or an oak tree with acorns). Later that
day I had two Scrub-Jays in the town of Snohomish, one in the oaks by
the library and one just north of 2nd Ave. I checked the library later
in the week and found two there.
The big theme of the week has been gulls. Pink Salmon are dying off
post spawn and the river side is full of the dead and dying fish and
the gulls are taking advantage of the easy meal. The vast majority are
Glaucous-Winged and hybrids, I had 7 gull species this week including
a Herring Gull, a couple apparently pure Western Gulls, and a couple
(Thayer's) Iceland Gulls. Mew Gulls begain trickling up the valley,
but I never saw any near the river so they must be feeding in fields.
Surprisingly enough the Turkey Vulture's desire to migrate is
apparently greater than their desire for an easy meal as they have
disappeared from the river. I did have 3 TV's migrating south this
evening, my latest sighting ever in the county.
Violet-Green Swallows are still hanging around. They'll disappear for
a few days and then be back with a vengeance. Yesterday they were
present in huge numbers, today completely absent.
Geese numbers seemed to have thinned out a bit since their peak in the
third week of September, but I still had at least 500 Cackling Geese
this week and maybe a hundred Canada Geese. Their evening commute
happens after sundown so accurate counts can be hard to get. Since
moving here, I've actually been shocked at how much waterfowl move at
night. I had three groups of Cackling Geese wake my up at various
points in the middle of the night. At least I think they were
Cackling. I wouldn't swear to my ability to ID geese by call through a
window in the middle of the night. I had my first Snow Geese of the
season on Wednesday and another flyover flock today. Oddly enough,
despite seeing over a thousand individual white-cheeked geese in a day
this year I still haven't found a Greater White-Fronted among them.
Last but not least, I had my first Northern Shrike of the season last night.
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