Fill today

Margaret Parkinson margparkie at
Sun Sep 8 19:24:20 PDT 2002

I went to the St. Stephen's church this evening but no sign of Vaux
Swifts. However, I too have been seeing them flying around. A fairly
large group flew over the U.Village Bartells when I was there yesterday.
I left about 7pm tonight which may have been a little early ... but I
did not come dressed warmly enough. Did you have any luck, Connie?


-----Original Message-----
From: TWEETERS-owner at
[mailto:TWEETERS-owner at] On Behalf Of Constance J.
Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2002 11:48 AM
To: tweeters at
Subject: Fill today

Hey tweets, Another spectacular day at the Fill. I got there this
about 7:45 a.m., which was good because now it is raining. I may go
this afternoon if the rain quits, as Stuart McKay swears by this as a
method for twitching out warblers: first rain, then warblers. I have to
admit I've tried this a time or two, and usually I get: first rain, then

There were plenty of warblers early this morning, though: every bush
to have three or four, at least, although the tree that was so good
yesterday for the Tahoma Audubon was empty of birds today. The best
location this morning was the little grove of trees near the entrance to
Wahkiakum Lane, where you see a large drain sticking out. This drain was
installed to manage the overflow of the pond that was built to flood the
grove of trees. You'll notice no pond now, just grass. That's because
pond developed a mysterious leak and emptied out all by itself. I never
knew that ponds *could* leak, but my husband, who grew up in Iowa, says
that's a major headache for farmers. They get out their ol' backhoe, dig
themselves a cow pond (or a pig pond, as the case might be) and gosh
it, the blamed thing leaks. Big waste of money. As the old farmer joke
goes: A doctor, a lawyer and a farmer all won the big Iowa state
They were asked what they were going to do with all their new-found
The doctor said, "I'm going to endow a clinic for the poor in my home
town." The lawyer said, "I'm going to retire in the Bahamas." The farmer
said, "I guess I'll just keep farming until the money's all gone."

Okay, enough with the jokes. More about birds. Another great location
warblers today was the clump of brush near the big willow on the main
This has been good for common yellowthroats all year. Today it also
*numerous* yellow and orange-crowned warblers, along with a western
wood-pewee. At the base of the tree, there was an American pipit (!)
foraging in the mud. He was all alone. I did hear a short-billed
calling aloft - I think it was upset by the peregrine falcon which
up to hunt the pipit. I don't know if the pipit got away or not. They
disappeared around some brush. I think the pipit did survive, because
falcon returned to the dead beaver tree shortly afterwards, and he
look too happy. He did look hefty, though, like he's been beefing up on
quite a few successful strikes in the past few days. I'm talking
size here. That is one big bird. He swooped right past me on the way to
pipit, and he went by in a flash; but when I saw him cruising back to
snag later, he looked like he was moving almost leisurely. It reminded
of the way a big 747 looks like it's flying slowly when it's really
at 600 mph. A matter of size. I suppose I should refer to the falcon as
female? At any rate, the Cooper's and the sharpie that also flew past
main pond later in the morning (!) were both quite wary of the falcon.
maybe they were exceptionally wimpy birds: I saw the Cooper's being
off by a flock of violet-green and barn swallows, who wouldn't let him
alone until he reached the QFC in University Village.

Also on view: a flock of 7 wood ducks, with two males in breeding
(on Union Bay); a green heron on the bay; Steller's jays in the tallest
cottonwoods; many savannah sparrows in migration; several Anna's buzzing
everywhere around the Fill; and that same large flock of Vaux's swifts
saw yesterday.

Sad to say, I did NOT see the swifts descend into St. Stephen's chimney
last night. But since the flock was back at the Fill this morning, I'm
going to check the chimney again tonight. Those swifts have to roost
somewhere. I'll post to tweeters if I see them go in the chimney. -

csidles at

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