[Tweeters] Edmonds Roundup - January 2022

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 17:26:16 PST 2022

Hi Tweets,

First of all, I want to correct our final count for 2021. It was 193, not 192. I unbelievably forgot to include the White-rumped Sandpiper of June 2021 in my final count. Okay, on to January 2022.

There were a respectable 99 species reported in Edmonds, which was lower than last year’s 104 January species, but still an excellent start given the weather conditions at the beginning of the month.

Most expected waterfowl were reported in January with the exceptions of Northern Shoveler (code 1), Greater Scaup (code 2), and Wood Duck (code 3). Highlights include Greater White-fronted Goose (code 3), three in Edmonds Lake Ballinger neighborhood 1-11-22 and one on Caspers Street 1-16-22; Cackling Geese (code 3) were seen at the marsh and the waterfront 1-1-22 and the following two days; two Trumpeter Swans (code 4) flew over the marsh 1-7-22; a single immature Snow Goose (code 3) accompanied a flock of Canada Geese around the Edmonds Bowl for several days beginning 1-27-22 at the marsh.

The expected grebes were Pied-billed, Horned, Red-necked, and Western. Of interest was the persistent presence of a single Pied-billed Grebe (code 2) on the exposed waterfront throughout the month. Two reports of four and six birds could have been data entry errors in eBird checklists as Horned Grebe is next to Pied-billed Grebe on the checklist. Reports of multiple birds of that species could be better evaluated with comments on field marks or photographs. Regardless, at least one bird was present throughout the month in an unexpected location.

All of the pigeons/doves were reported with the exception of Eurasian Collared-Dove (code 3). The highlight here was a Mourning Dove (code 3) on Puget Drive 1-1-22 and one other day during January.

A Virginia Rail (code 2) was heard calling at Goodhope Pond in Pine Ridge park 1-6-22. There were two reports of calling rails in the marsh during the second half of the month. Presumably the very high water level in the marsh the first two weeks of January kept them at a distance or drove them away temporarily. It’s a challenge to hear them now with all of the dog barking six days a week by the canine business adjacent to the boardwalk. An American Coot (code 2) finally showed up at the marsh 1-30-22.

Shorebird sightings through January were Killdeer (code 1), Black Turnstone (code 3), Surfbird (code 3), Sanderling (code 2), and Dunlin (code 3). All of the expected winter alcids were reported.

Along with the expected gulls was one Western Gull (code 4) 1-17-22 on a buoy in the Underwater Park. There continue to be lots of undocumented reports of Ring-billed Gull (code 3). This is a commonly mistaken species (confused with early cycle Short-billed Gull in winter and California Gull in summer) and difficult to find on the exposed Edmonds waterfront. We don’t add it to the year list unless there is a photograph or a credible description of the key field marks. There would rarely be more than one seen at a time.

All three loon species (Red-throated, Pacific, Common) were reported at various spots along the Edmonds waterfront 1-1-22. All three cormorant species (Brandt’s, Pelagic, Double-crested) were also reported 1-1-22.

Raptors reported during January were Sharp-shinned Hawk (code 2), Cooper’s Hawk (code 2), Bald Eagle (code 1), and Red-tailed Hawk (code 2). There were no owl reports. The Great Horned and Barred Owls must have been silent. For the falcons, there was a Peregrine (code 3) at Haines Wharf 1-17-22 and a Merlin (code 2) reported in the Westgate neighborhood 1-24-22.

All of the expected Woodpeckers were reported during January: Red-breasted Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, as well as Hairy, Downy, and Pileated Woodpeckers.

There was one report of a Hutton’s Vireo (code 2) calling in Pine Ridge Park 1-19-22. The three corvids expected at this time of year have been seen or heard. Common Ravens (code 3) were reported in a south Edmonds neighborhood and near the marsh 1-4-22. There have been other reports around Pine Ridge Park where they often can be heard calling.

All of the expected smaller birds were reported: chickadees, kinglets, nuthatch, creeper, and wrens. No Cedar Waxwings yet. American Robin and Varied Thrush reports continued through the month. The first Hermit Thrush (code 2), a sometimes difficult bird to find, showed up in a bird bath in the Lake Ballinger neighborhood 1-3-22. There were later sightings in Yost Park and at the marsh. Among the finches, there was only one report of one Purple Finch (code 3) in the Lake Ballinger neighborhood 1-2-22.

All of the expected sparrows were reported. The best were White-throated Sparrows (code 3) appearing throughout the month, as early as 1-1-22, at feeders near Pine Ridge Park and the 7th & Elm Park. One was also reported by several birders around the marsh. A Lincoln’s Sparrow (a difficult code 2) was finally seen in the Lake Ballinger neighborhood 1-31-22.

Red-winged Blackbirds have been reported at Pine Ridge Park 1-4-22 and throughout the month at the marsh and the Lake Ballinger neighborhood. Unfortunately, there were no reports of the lone female Brewer’s Blackbird that has lived along the waterfront, first at the former Senior Center (Olympic Beach) and then at Brackett’s Landing North, for a number of years. She persisted in Edmonds long after her mate disappeared. If she is now gone, good luck on finding another Brewer’s in the city. Hopefully she just retreated during the inclement weather conditions of early January and will return.

Among the warblers, there have been reports of one Orange-crowned Warbler (code 1) at the marsh 1-14-22, multiple Yellow-rumped Warblers (code 1) beginning 1-1-22 at Puget Drive, the marsh, and the Lake Ballinger neighborhood, as well as at other private yards. Townsend’s Warbler (code 2) has been reported since 1-6-22 at Pine Ridge Park and the Lake Ballinger neighborhood.

Although we have not added it to the year list, honorable mention goes to the finding of a single Common Redpoll in a mixed flock at Esperance Park 1-2-22 in unincorporated Edmonds. A migratory bird cannot enter this small unincorporated neighborhood without passing through Edmonds but since the sighting was not inside Edmonds, we’re going to leave that species off the year list for now.

As always, I appreciate it when birders get in touch with me to share sightings, photos, or audio. It helps us build our collective year list. If you would like a copy of our 2022 city checklist, please request it from checklistedmonds at gmail dot com. I will get a 2022 checklist posted in the bird information box at the Visitor Station at the base of the public pier by Tuesday.

Good birding,

Carol Riddell
Edmonds, WA

Abundance codes: (1) Common, (2) Uncommon, (3) Harder to find, usually seen annually, (4) Rare, 5+ records, (5) Fewer than 5 records

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