[Tweeters] Magnuson Park snow birds

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Mon Dec 27 22:18:50 PST 2021

The post-Christmas snow produced a fascinating distribution of birds at
Magnuson Park today. With open ground completely covered by snow and/or ice
and slush, ground feeders had to improvise. At the same time, the gleaners
had to abandon the frozen branches where bugs must have been well-hidden.
As a result, both Kinglets and BC Chickadees were often feeding on the
ground. One Golden-crowned Kinglet in particular was moving quickly toward
me down the path on Promontory Point and at one point walked right between
my legs.

The shorelines provided the largest area of snow-free cover. That resulted
in a nice mix of usually hard to find birds. At the swim beach, several
American Pipit were actively feeding together with a Yellow-rumped Warbler,
a Lincoln's Sparrow and a Song Sparrow. On the cobble beach at the north
shore there were more Pipit and a Savannah Sparrow. And on the adjacent
boat ramp were several Killdeer, a Least Sandpiper and a Dunlin.

Typical waterbirds were present including well over a hundred Greater Scaup
and Western Grebe. But, adding to the mix were a pair of fly-over and
calling Trumpeter Swans, 3 (continuing) Snow Geese and a single Greater
White-fronted Goose, several Barrow's Goldeneye and a Red-breasted
Merganser. There were a dozen Horned Grebe off the NOAA dock as well as a
dozen and a half Pied-billed Grebe, the most I've seen at the park.

There were few gulls today; most numerous were Ring-bills, but no
Short-bills. Also on the swim platform were a couple of first year Iceland
(Thayer's) Gulls.

Raptors were also present, in small numbers, including a Bald Eagle,
Cooper's and Red-tailed Hawks and a Merlin.

I could not find any redpolls that were reported recently but there were
other winter visitors including Varied and Hermit Thrush, plus a couple of
Purple Finch eating snowberries.

A chilly day was made tolerable by the (almost) lack of wind and plenty of
sunshine. 58 species for the day; Dunlin and Least Sandpiper were new for
the year. Checklist: https://ebird.org/checklist/S99547811

Scott Ramos
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