[Tweeters] Kent Valley Tropical Kingbirds - yes

Louise Rutter louise.rutter at eelpi.gotdns.org
Tue Nov 13 13:16:08 PST 2007

With the weather conducive to fly-catching, and the timing conducive to the
residents hopefully being out at work, I went down to 287th St this morning
to look for the tropical kingbirds, and met Mary Frances Mathis on the same
mission. I took Charlie Wright's advice and parked 100 yards further south
along W Valley Hwy , in a construction company car park right by the Auburn
sign. The car park was nearly empty, and there were no posted notices about
customers only or towing, so I didn't suppose anyone would mind.

We searched 287th St for about half an hour with no success. Mary Frances
spotted the northern shrike, perched on a fence post in a field several
hundred yards north of 287th. At that point, mindful of the reputation of
the locals (who were around and active) and assuming that the kingbirds
would be easily visible if they were still around, we gave up and decided
they'd probably moved on.

I went back to my car, and there on the wires above the car park sat a
tropical kingbird, with bright yellow belly and breast and nicely notched
tail. There's an area of wasteland with brambles and scattered trees and a
ruined house that stretches between 287th and the construction yard along
the Valley Hwy, and the bird was fly-catching over the scrub. One high speed
rush to retrieve Mary Frances later, staggering along 287th St waving my
scarf over my head like a lunatic, we found the two tropical kingbirds
perched close together in a bush. We lost sight of one early on, and as we
watched, the other slowly worked his way deeper into the scrub, back in the
direction of 287th.

If anyone tries for these birds, it's worth scanning that whole area, and
given that the locals aren't entirely welcoming, it might be easier to check
from the south end or from the Valley Hwy itself before embarking on 287th.
Many thanks to Charlie for his post from yesterday, without which I wouldn't
have parked where I did and we'd have missed the birds!

Louise Rutter


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