[Tweeters] Busy birding weekend

Valerie Elliott VElliott at msn.com
Mon Mar 14 23:07:55 PST 2005

Well made it back from Florida safe and sound.  Had a great 2 weeks doing an Earthwatch study on bottle-nosed dolphins around Sarasota.  Birding was great with several lifers - monk parakeet, red-cockaded woodpecker, Carolina wren, swallow-tailed kite, Florida scrub-jay, and black-hooded parakeet (not countable).  I also have one unidentified gull that I am having the Florida experts determine what species it is.  I ran into a partially albino yellow-rumped warbler, which was pretty interesting.  I haven't compiled my list yet, but it is over 100 birds long.  If anyone is interested what I saw and where I saw it, let me know.  I visited some great places.  My mammal lifers included bottle-nosed dolphin and manatee.

This past Saturday I went down to see the Coburg, OR falcated duck.  Definitely worth the trip.  I arrived about 8:40 a.m. and 3 birders from California were already there.  Didn't even need binoculars to see the duck.  So you know the scope views were awesome (thanks Californians for the looks and hope you got the Bend hawk owl).  The sun showed its colors very well.  I stayed until about 9:20 when one of the RVers shook out a rug or something and the duck took off.  It flew and landed on the sewage pond just beyond the fenced off area.  You could still see it, but it was further away, the light was lousier, and photography was not possible.

On the way down on I-5, I saw 3 mature bald eagles (2 were eating what I expect was a dead new lamb), several red-tailed hawks, and one rough-legged hawk, along with the expected passerines.

On the way back, I stopped at Ankeny NWR in Oregon for the first time.  Nice place.  Saw the following (in no order):

acorn woodpecker
bald eagle
ruddy duck
red-headed duck
canvasback duck
mallards lesser scaup
great egret (just missed this)
song sparrow
American coot
American robin
2 great horned owlets
bushtits (missed this because I didn't take one of the trails)
100s of cackling geese
d-c cormorant
American widgeon

There's probably a few others I can't remember.  This was a quick stop.

Next up was Ridgefield NWR.  It was pretty quiet compared to my other visits, but the wind may have played a role.  I was pleasantly surprised about how well they fixed up the railroad crossing and plank bridge.  Great work and long overdue.  Thanks.  Again the list in no specific order:

marsh wren
pied-billed grebe
PEACOCK!  Where did he come from?
green-winged teal
northern harrier 
yellow-legs (not sure which one)
violet-green swallows
mama nutria with several young nursing
red-winged blackbird
American coot
probably about 12 great egrets
Canada geese (cackling and larger species)

I made a quick run out to the I-5 Exit 22 Ditch access and saw:

100s of cackling geese
song sparrow
belted kingfisher
sharp-shinned hawk (skimming just above the water along the bottom edge of the dike)

Today I took a walk at Nisqually along the boardwalk and to the Nisqually overlook and saw:

Pied-billed Grebe
American Bittern
Canada Goose
American Widgeon
Northern Shoveler
Ring-necked Duck
Common Merganser
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Great-horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher (heard only)
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Marsh Wren (heard only)
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird

2 gray squirrels
3 Columbia black-tailed deer

I would appreciate any redwing sighting posts, since I may go out for another look this weekend.  Thanks.

Happy Birding,

Valerie Elliott
Olympia, WA
VElliott at msn.com

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