[Tweeters] Migrants passing through Wallace Swamp Creek Park

LINDA PHILLIPS linda_phillips1252 at msn.com
Sun Sep 10 22:55:33 PDT 2006

I have been very busy the past few weeks. I have 17 unread Tweeters digests sitting in my inbox, so forgive me if I'm being repetitious.
I'm sad to see the long days of summer draw to a close, but every season has its positive attributes and today reminded me what I love about the fall. I took a long walk through Wallace Swamp Creek Park and saw birds that I only see while they are passing through. Almost immediately I was hearing unfamiliar tweeting after several minutes of searching through the tree tops in a grove of Douglas Fir I spotted birds that were black, white and yellow, one finally came out in the open and stayed still long enough for me to see it was a Townsend's Warbler.
Further along I came across a small flock 6-8 of flycatchers, but definitely not the Willows I'm used to seeing, again the birds were high up and flitty. They seemed bigger than Willow Flycatchers and their bills were heavier. they mad a raspy sound and soft chip noises, I'm leaning toward Western Wood Peewee, but Sibley's says they are solitary. Maybe they flock together for migration.
My next mystery bird I could only see from the bottom looking up and again it just would not stay still and let me examine it. the belly was bright yellow fading to lighter yellow or white by the throat and tail, I think it's legs and beak were dark but the lighting wasn't real good. Several of these were playing leap frog through the tops of mixed deciduous trees. Yellow warbler?

Last but not least, while I was watching a female pileated woodpecker she disappeared. I moved so I could see if she had gone around the tree and then I saw her head poking out of a nest cavity. This was very near the nest that I had been monitoring earlier. In that nest one juvenile fledged in the middle of June. For the last several weeks, leading up to that I only saw the male bringing food to the nest. I guessed that something had happened to the mother. I was surprised there was only one youngster, because a nest I watched in '05 produced 3 fledglings, but developing my theory, with only one parent feeding the brood only the strongest lived to fledge. Now seeing a female in a nest I wonder if it's possible that the first brood failed ( except for one) so she started a second brood and she is still tending that nest even this late in the season. My other thought about this is that since it was 7 PM when I saw her maybe she was just roosting in the nest cavity for the night. Are there any woodpecker experts out there who would like to comment?
For the day I had a total of 28 species.
Highlights included all five woodpeckers, flicker, sapsucker, downy, hairy and pileated.
a pair (or more) of Common Yellowthroat, to my knowledge they did not nest in WSCP this season so I haven't seen any there since early spring.
A Belted Kingfisher catching a small fish in the NEW and improved? sediment pond.
A Green Heron who posed nicely for me after I flushed him as I walked by.
With all the twittering and peeping going on I wouldn't be surprised if there were a lot more migrants in the bushes that just didn't show themselves to me.
It was a very good day.
Linda Phillips
Kenmore, 98028-2616
linda_phillips1252 at msn.com<mailto:linda_phillips1252 at msn.com>

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