[Tweeters] Capitol Forest

Louise Rutter louise.rutter at eelpi.gotdns.org
Fri Jul 27 15:51:05 PDT 2007

Inspired by Ken Knittle's post with its crossbills at almost every stop, I
headed down to Capitol Forest this morning, birding my way in from the Rock
Candy entrance, along B-line and up C-4000, and a little way along Buck
Ridge Road. Maybe the crossbills were calling at every stop, my ear can't
tell their particular short chips from the short chips of half a dozen other
things - but hearing them definitely isn't the same as seeing! I did find
three eventually perched at the tips of firs across a logged glade off
C-4000 - not great views, it took the scope balanced on the car window to
see them properly, but they continued to pose rather nicely while I  set it
all up, and I scratched off another duck for the year.


I didn't hold out much hope for hermit warblers, spending four hours in an
area Ken had scoured for two days and only found at one location. But I
headed along his reported site of C-4500 on the off chance, birding my way
down again from where the road splits. I found one Wilson's warbler
initially, moved another hundred yards or so along and came across a couple
more - and then there was a flurry of wings in the bushes, and there were
the hermits and Wilson's chasing one another around, exactly as Ken
described from a couple of days ago. They obviously like that particular
site and are sticking around. 


There were several battles ongoing intermittently - I think I saw three
separate hermits among the scuffles, all immature, but immatures are good
enough for me. The birds were among some thin-stemmed bushes by the roadside
on the right hand side (as you go up) where C-4500 really starts to climb.
The bushes are bare in the bottom half and leafy up top, and the birds could
be seen nicely when they dropped down during a chase.


Other than that, I saw the usual mix of flycatchers (willow and
olive-sided), black-headed grosbeak, band-tailed pigeon, western tanager,
some very pretty immature warbling vireos and other fairly common species,
including male rufous hummingbirds zipping around like little jewels in the
sunlight. At one point I followed the shrieking of a robin, and found a pair
of them soundly scolding a beautiful adult red-tailed hawk perched out on
the edge of a fir. 


A nice morning's birding, which would have been nicer if the dirt bikers
hadn't kicked in about 11am and drowned out most of the birdsong along
C-4500 - the noise from below rather ruined the illusion of peace and
solitude I'd been enjoying. 


Many thanks for the post, Ken! It was very helpful.


Louise Rutter




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