[Tweeters] A few notes from north Lake Stevens: Red Crossbills persist and more

Scott Atkinson scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 9 19:37:50 PST 2021

Red Crossbills continue to be omnipresent up here about midway between Granite Falls and Marysville. Type 3 has been present almost daily for about a year now, but Type 4 was here today as well, appropriately feeding at the top of a tall Doug Fir. The Type 4 song was heard as well. Today's list posted to EBird (from "Tiny's Lane") also included mention of a few other singing passerines (both Pac and Bewick's Wrens, for example), giving rise to thoughts of an early spring. We have also had Am. Robin here and nearby, and they normally don't winter east of Hwy 9 in our area. Indicators in the shrub flora also hint at an earlier start to spring, but I do remember last year's "February surprise."

While here 'll risk violating protocol and also mention a Pine Marten that darted across the road, at point-blank range, while I was stationary (after "raking myself silly" along our wooded drive), about a week ago, just before dusk. One assumes the creature was drawn to the substantial population of Chickaree (Douglas' Squirrel) we have on site, associated with tall hemlock forest. Also nearly ran over a mouse, sp. last week: Deer Mouse occurs abundantly (and sometimes in the detached garage and van!), but this individual was blondish-colored above and comparatively tentative in movements. We've had Pacific Jumping-Mouse several times on the drive just after dark, flushed by headlights, but this wasn't "bouncing through" like they do. I thought about an injured individual, however.

Scott Atkinson

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