[Tweeters] On Post - Fort Lewis - 4-22-2006

Desilvis, Denis J denis.j.desilvis at boeing.com
Mon Apr 24 10:18:42 PDT 2006

Five of us took part in a Birdathon trip to Fort Lewis on Saturday 4-22
and spent over 6 hours touring the area along the 2nd Division Range
Road, the north and east sides of the 91st Div Prairie, Brandenburg
Marsh/Halverson Marsh and vicinity, the west side of Chambers Lake, and
the east side of Johnson Marsh. (Use Google Earth "Fort Lewis WA" to
find these spots.) The weather started clear, quickly went to partly
cloudy with a cold north wind, and finally cleared up to be really nice.

Highlights of the 62 species seen: Canvasback at Nisqually Lake (91st
Div Prairie) (first I've seen on base); many singing Purple Finches, the
return of Chipping Sparrows and Purple Martins (both not there last
week) and the bird of the day: Northern Pygmy-Owl - excellent view of
this "cooperative" bird.

MaryFrancis Mathis spotted the Canvasback while we were scoping
Nisqually Lake. Along with that bird were scaup (one Lesser Scaup for
certain - we were at a good distance away since the lake is in the
artillary impact area), Buffleheads, American Coot, Greater Yellowlegs
(heard), and a Northern Harrier (in the background field).

When we stopped to look at two Golden-crowned Sparrows just west of
Nisqually Lake, we heard many White-crowned Sparrows "chipping." Then,
after an American Robin started up with an alarm call, we went looking
for the source of the irritation. Megan Lyden found the Northern
Pigmy-Owl directly overhead, and until it moved, the only view we had of
it was butt-on. Finally, we managed to get a scope on it and had a
remarkably good view of this diminutive predator.

Although Purple Martins weren't in the area of the trees they've nested
in for several years (Brandenburg Marsh), three of them were at the
north end of Chambers Lake, where the've used nestboxes for many years.

Four of the five swallows I usually see at the Muck Creek bridge (east
side of the 91st Div Prairie) were there: Cliff, Barn, Violet-green, and
Tree. We had excellent side-by-side comparisons of all swallows.

Both the martins and Chipping Sparrows arrived sometime in the past
week. Quite a few Chipping Sparrows were seen and heard, but not nearly
the number that will be here within another week or so.

Only one Yellow Warbler (heard), but anticipate they will return en
masse soon.

Birds seen during this trip:
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
California Quail
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk (the first bird officially ID'd, with prey)
American Kestrel
American Coot
Greater Yellowlegs
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Northern Pygmy-Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Hutton's Vireo
Steller's Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
American Robin
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Spotted Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch

May all your birds be identified,

Denis DeSilvis
Seattle, WA
mailto:denis.j.desilvis at boeing.com

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