Fall at the Fill

Constance J. Sidles csidles at mail.isomedia.com
Mon Sep 23 14:32:58 PDT 2002


Hey tweets, it was a glorious fall morning at the Fill today, and things
are starting to get really interesting.

Early-migrating stragglers are still coming through. I saw four common
yellowthroats and an orange-crowned warbler, as well as a tree swallow.

In addition, later-migrating birds are starting to show up. I saw two
longspurs in the field just south of the UrbanHort building, but they were
backlit and I couldn't tell what kind they were; they flew off never to be
seen again, at least for this morning, when a tractor came chugging by.
(I've seen both chestnut-collared and lapland longspurs at the Fill before,
but not every year.) I also saw two golden-crowned sparrows in the bushes
on the south side of the parking lot - these bushes are *very* popular with
sparrows. In the same area was a lone Oregon junco - not a very common bird
at the Fill.

And the ducks are back. The little flock of ring-necked ducks that was on
Union Bay last night has grown in the night to be a rather large flock of
same. More and more wigeons keep arriving; can the buffleheads be far
behind? The wood ducks are still around, and there has been a northern
shoveler on the bay, too.

Raptors are also evident. As I drove into the parking lot, I saw the local
peregrine go shooting off toward QFC (hunting rock doves, one hopes). I
also saw dozens of crows pestering a lone red-tailed hawk. They chased him
clear out of sight, then the mob came back full of themselves for their
success. Big deal. Even the local male Anna's hummingbird could have done
the same, and he wouldn't have needed 50 of his fellows to do it, either.
The Anna's, by the way, can be found in the little tree in the center of
the green sward near the wedding rock. Listen for a sound like a
high-tension wire, then search the branches with your binocs.

- Connie, Seattle

csidles at isomedia.com




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