Red-shouldered Hawk and "Gray headed" Junco

Michael Dossett phainopepla at
Sun Feb 25 09:55:42 PST 2001

Hi Tweets,

I had to work in Issaquah yesterday and decided to try
for the Harris's Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow
which were previously reported at the corner of W.
Snoqualmie River Rd. SE. and Main St. near Carnation.
I figured a short stop here was more or less on my way
so it was worth a try.

Right after turning onto W. Snoqualmie River Rd. NE
from NE Tolt Hill Road, I noticed a large swampy area
with lots of dead snags. I hit the brakes.

"Wow, this looks like it would be great habitat" I
then got out of the car and noticed the sign that said
"Seattle Audubon Society Carnation Marsh." Anyway, I
decided to take a look at what was around since it
looked like it was a really cool spot. I'd wondered
where it was before beacuse I'd heard about it, but
never really looked for it.

The first thing I noticed when I stepped out of the
car was a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER in the snag right
next to the road. While I was watching the sapsucker,
I heard a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK start to call in the
background. It called incessantly for about 15
minutes which allowed me to find it perched on a snag
quite a ways back from the road. It was a juvenile,
and closely resembeled the bird at Spencer
Island.After watching this bird for about 10 minutes I
had to press on so as not to be late to work.

I stopped at the intersection where the Harris's
Sparrow was reported but could not find it in the
large flock of White-crowned sparrows. There is also
a large flock of juncos here. I was ignoring the
juncos and walking down the road looking at
Whie-crowns and Golden-crowns. I decided to head back
to the car. When I turned the corner I noticed a
strange looking junco in the road nest to the car. I
looked at it through the bins and was amazed that I
was actually looking at one of the "Gray-headed"
forms. It stayed for about a minute kicking and
picking at the grit on the road and shoulder, until
some people came by on bikes and sent it scurrying
into the blackberries.

Michael Dossett
Phainopepla at

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