[Tweeters] afternoon at the Cedar River

Ruth Sullivan godwit at worldnet.att.net
Mon Dec 13 17:24:40 PST 2004

Hello Tweets,

This afternoon my mother and I visited the Cedar River Park at the mouth of the Cedar River at Renton between 12:45pm-3:30pm. We encountered a nice assortment of species along with good assortment of gulls that generally increased near the end of our visit. We also noted a large gather assortment of gulls at nearby Gene Coulon Park,as we scoped from the Cedar River Park that mainly loafed on the water and along floating log booms. As we scoped through the gull flocks we tallied up to 4 adult Western Gulls,1 adult California Gull,20+ Herring Gulls and an equal number of Thayer's Gulls. Our main highlights at this location consisted of a pair of adult Peregrine Falcons that were noted off and on during our visit,but at around 2pm the two bird were noted pursuing then capturing a lone Rock Pigeon from fairly close range over Lake Washington. Within seconds we watched the adult female bird capture the pigeon,then carry the bird with adult male Peregrine Falcon flying close by. They finally landed on the side of the large Boeing building immediately southeast of park,where we watched them land on a ladder extending on the side of the building. We continued watching the pair of Peregrine Falcons,as the female finally killed the pigeon and began feeding on it from the ladder,as the adult male perched nearby from a higher perch. The female continued feeding on the plucked pigeon until getting enough to eat,then the adult male was finally able to feed on the bird. It was quite a show that several other birds also watched!

The other main highlight from the Cedar River Park was the female Long-tailed Duck previously reported by Michael Fleming,Matt Bartells,etc. The bird this afternoon was first viewed in our spotting scopes at Gene Coulon Park,but later flew over to the mouth of the Cedar River Park from extremely close range. The bird remained at this location diving and foraging with other waterfowl on both sides of the paved pier,as well as alone and at times we watched the bird foraging along the edge of the lake pecking at rocks. A truly exciting bird to see up so close!

Other highlights noted from this location included the following:

1 Red-necked Grebe
95+ Western Grebes
1 Eared Grebe
20 Greater White-fronted Geese
13 Canvasbacks
1 Ruddy Duck
2 Yellow-rumped Warblers

En route to Renton earlier in the day we observed a single Peregrine Falcon along Union Ave.(Tacoma area), then an American Kestrel perched atop a light post along Hwy.16 just north of the I-5 interchange. The Am.Kestrel is a very noteworthy sighting for the Tacoma area,especially for the winter season.

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
godwit at worldnet.att.net

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