[Tweeters] King County December big day, Dec. 8

Matt Dufort matt.dufort at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 21:43:12 PST 2018


Hi tweets,

On Saturday, Spencer Hildie, Sam Terry, and I (joined for half the day by
Josh Glant) took on a big day on one of the shortest days of the year. The
main challenge was the lack of daylight - we ended the day with quite a few
reasonable targets remaining, but no time to get to them. We finished with
102 species, exceeding my expectations despite missing quite a few common
species.

Highlights:

Finding 4 owl species despite none of them vocalizing.

W Snoqualmie River Rd NE in Duvall, with Prairie Falcon, multiple
Rough-legged Hawks, two Northern Shrikes, Short-eared Owl, and much more.
The falcon was only a couple hundred yards from where we found a
Long-billed Curlew on our spring big day, proving again what a gem this
spot is.

Sikes Lake, with a cooperative Swamp Sparrow, and thousands of ducks,
geese, and swans moving overhead through the valley. Two blue Snow Geese
in these flocks were the first I’ve seen in King County.

West Seattle providing tons of saltwater birds and the hoped-for rockpipers.

A number of successful quick stops for a few targets: Barrow’s Goldeneye
and lingering Heermann’s Gulls below the Ballard Locks, Cinnamon Teal and
Least Sandpiper at 212th St in Kent, and conifer-forest passerines at the
Discovery Park ELC.

Misses were numerous, as mentioned above, and included Red-breasted
Nuthatch(!), any pigeon/dove other than Rock Pigeon, most woodpeckers,
Varied and Hermit Thrushes, Purple Finch, the list goes on.

Overall, a fantastic day that only whetted my appetite for more winter big
day efforts. Thanks to Sam, Spencer, and Josh for keeping up the pace,
enthusiasm, and fun throughout the long day!

Good birding,
Matt Dufort
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