[Tweeters] Swallow Frenzy

Stephen schasecredo at gmail.com
Sat Apr 28 16:44:11 PDT 2018

Hi Tweeters community,
This bout of rain somewhat dampened my enthusiasm for Spring birding. Usually I'm birding at the break of dawn (only quiet time in a house with four kids!), but today I didn't quite have the drive to get out in this rain after a number of beautiful mornings. Odd, because the rain didn't stop me from birding through the winter. A matter of perspective, I suppose.

Anyways, since the rain was letting up in Everson, I took my squirrely boys out for a little hike at Ostrom Conservation Site along South Pass Road in north Whatcom County. The rain picked up again, and we were all in cranky moods, so we got back in the van and took the long way home. That meant North Pass Road this time. Just north of the corner of North Pass and Minaker near Sumas there's a deep seasonal pond. It stays flooded through the winter and is one of the last ponds to dry up in the Spring. It was still quite deep this afternoon. In the drizzle, at least 150 swallows swirled. The bulk were Tree, with decent numbers of Violet-green and Cliff (my FOY). I also counted a couple Northern Rough-winged, about a dozen Barn, and for the win I had excellent looks at a single Bank Swallow. eBird didn't flag it as rare; however it is notable for being Whatcom County's earliest ever report of Bank on eBird - and the first record of April. Pretty cool! I don't totally understand the swallow-rain connection, but I guess it turned out to be not so bad after all. There were quite a few winter ducks in this pond still too - about a dozen or so Buffleheads and another dozen Ring-necked Ducks.

Enjoy your birds, folks, rain or shine.
Stephen in Everson

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