[Tweeters] 5MR birding
tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 3 18:10:24 PST 2020
I know a lot of people did the 5 mile radius challenge this year - I thought I'd share highlights from mine; It would be great to hear about others' years too!
>From the Cascade area of Renton, I tinkered around and got a circle to touch the Kent Ponds, 204th, Echo Mountain, some good owly spots on the Soos Creek Trail, the mouth of the Cedar River, and the Black River Refuge. No salt water, but still a lot of great habitat! The total for the year was 155 species. The highlights:
Say's Phoebe, Western Kingbird, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Bank Swallow, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Harlequin Duck from the Cedar River Mouth. I had been hoping for some duck to visit from the saltwater, and would have settled for a Surf Scoter, so the Harlie was a fun one to find!
Vesper Sparrow was a new county bird for me (Black River and Boeing Ponds in the same week), and it was fun to find that some birds (Northern Pygmy Owl, American Dipper) were regulars fairly nearby.
Shorebirds were mostly a bust - the Cedar River Mouth just didn't pull a lot of them in this year - but the Stilt Sandpiper in Kent was a nice exception.
Misses: Northern Shrike waited until today to show up in the circle for me (Boeing Ponds); Trumpeter Swan, Barrow's Goldeneye, Eared Grebe, Red-Breasted Merganser... those last three were all seen at the Cedar River Mouth in 2019, some regularly, but I always missed em! A Short-eared Owl even showed up for people watching the Lesser Black-backed Gull in November!
Thanks to Jen Sanford for promoting it last year! EBird says my life list in the circle is 194, so this is not done!
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