[Tweeters] Sage Thrasher at Fill

Constance Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Sun Apr 21 18:41:25 PDT 2019


Hey tweets, I hope many of you managed to see the gorgeous Sage Thrasher found today at Montlake Fill. I got down there myself about half an hour after the initial report appeared on tweeters. The bird was skulking and hard to find at first, but after a bit of hoo-hah (bird getting flushed), it came back to the ground and foraged in the wood chips to the east of SE Pond down at East Point.

I thought you might like to know that this is only the second sighting of a Sage Thrasher at the Fill in more than 120 years of recorded observations.

The previous thrasher appeared in 2002 and stuck around from May 11 to May 24. It generally hung out in the short vegetation on the southeast side of Main Pond. Frankly, it always seemed to me that it was ill, because it never seemed to be very active.

This bird, on the other hand, looks magnificent.

The wood chips among which it was foraging were laid down 3 years ago by the landscapers hired by WSDOT to retool vast tracts of prairie at the Fill into something resembling a rose thicket, in a poorly conceived and executed attempt to eliminate Himalayan blackberry by the expedient of covering up the plants with wood chips and replacing the prairie grasses with prickly plants. The UW Botanic Gardens people refer to these wood chips as mulch, but I like Brian Pendleton's description of it as beauty bark. I suppose the irony of calling such a botched attempt at native plant restoration "beauty" appeals to me, at least it does when I'm feeling particularly dyspeptic. But perhaps mulch is not too far off the mark, at least after 3 years of wind, rain, snow, and sun. For it seems that there are plenty of grubs and worms present now, which I think is what attracted the thrasher, not to mention numerous sparrows.

I took this sighting as a message of hope, that birds will make use of whatever they can, even when we humans mess up the world and have not much clue how to put it to rights. Nature is far wiser than we are when it comes to the intricacies of a web of life we scarcely are aware of, much less understand. Not that Nature has a brain or a heart, but the fact is that everything from cells to whales is intimately related and interdependent due to eons of evolution, and that seems to me to be a kind of wisdom. At the very least, my heart was glad to see one little thrasher, come here all the way from Mexico, finding plenty of eat in our corner of the world. May it grow fat again here before finding its way to the summer sage. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com <mailto:constancesidles at gmail.com>
csidles at constancypress.com <mailto:csidles at constancypress.com>


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