[Tweeters] Patrick and Ruth & Kent Sightings

Lynn & Carol Schulz linusq at worldnet.att.net
Tue Sep 25 10:49:13 PDT 2007

Hello Birders:
I think I'm through crying for both Patrick and Ruth Sullivan now, and can finally
report some sightings.  I came home from a lovely field trip to Kent Ponds on
Saturday afternoon, Sept 22 and read Dennis Paulson's message about Patrick's
passing.  I feel so sad for Ruth, who I now realize supported Patrick all those years
as he brilliantly progressed to a position as a top birder in the state.  She was the
one who accompanied him on most trips, and enthusiastically took up birds,
butterflies, photography, and dragonflies.  Some of those trips were very long, and
when the two of them returned they immediately posted long, detailed messages about
birds and directions.  I always carried a copy of their wonderful messages when I
went birding to Nisqually, the coast, the straits, and to eastern WA.  I saw a number
of life birds due to the efforts of Patrick and Ruth.
I relied on those reports to plan trips for our local Audubon.  I'm going to lead a
trip to Bottle Beach on Saturday, and am worried about not having reports about the
birds out there!
Now for a short report about the birds on Fri, Sat, & Sun in the Kent Ponds vicinity:

Highlights on Friday, Sept 21:
NORTHERN HARRIER - 2 juveniles flying at Kent Ponds West Meadow.
AMERICAN KESTREL - 1 female Kent Ponds West Meadow - possible migrant as we have not
seen Kestrels in the area for some months.
BARN SWALLOWS & VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS in the hundreds flying over the Green River.
VAUX'S SWIFTS - 2 over Green River.
Just a few COMMON YELLOWTHROATS and no Savannah Sparrows.  The hordes of these birds
are now gone.
GOLDEN-CRND SPARROWS - 4 across the Green River footbridge from SW Kent Ponds (first
of season =FOS)

It was very quiet at the Boeing Ponds, north of Kent Ponds.  There were 3 Hooded
Mergansers there.  A whole flock of Rock Pigeons flew into the bare field across from
Boe Ponds, and in the flock there was a white pigeon.  It was not a Eurasion Collared
Dove, and I have not seen any in this area yet.  Strangely, a BAND-TAILED PIGEON flew
in and perched on a light pole.

Saturday, Sept 22 RAS field trip on a nice sunny day.  Kent Ponds unless stated
Many of the ducks are back in small numbers, most in eclipse plumage.  The several
WOOD DUCKS were in breeding plumage.
COOPER'S HAWK - 1 adult
PEREGRINE FALCON - 1 juv flying over our heads when we were across the river at the
footbridge.  Very cool.
VIRGINIA RAIL - several calling in the constructed wetland inside the normally locked
WILSON'S SNIPE - 3  Seen from grassy knoll.
VAUX'S SWIFT - 20 flying slightly higher than the swallows over the Green River.
PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER - 1 in mixed flock at the grassy knoll in the morning.
CEDAR WAXWING - 1 small flock.  Hordes of these birds are now gone.
YELLOW WARBLER - 1 grassy knoll
YELLOW-RMPD. WARBLER - 4 first of season (FOS) inside the area.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT - 4 heard.  These were only seen by a few people.
SAVANNAH SPARROW - only 3 seen.
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH - still in fairly large numbers, and in very drab plumage.
No Fox Sparrows or American Pipits were seen despite these being seen the previous
weekend at the coast during the wonderful WOS Conference at Aberdeen.  Pipits seemed
to be everywhere out on the coast.

Sunday, Sept 23 report from Roger Orness about census count at Kent Ponds.  (Roger
did not have all the numbers of birds yet from the teams.)
COOPER'S HAWK - at least 2.  Adult & juvenile.

On Monday I drove north from Kent near the Sagale fields along the Green River.
There were some small CANADA GOOSE flocks.  Some looked like they could be CACKLING
GEESE.  Unfortunately, I have trouble with these when they are the light-colored
cacklers.  I did not have my scope.  These fields are south of South Center and all
the stores, and south of the Sagale Llama farm.

Thanks again to Ruth and Patrick for their wonderful reports and pictures.  I hope
Ruth recovers eventually from her grief, and posts about birds again sometime.  The
birding community grieves too.  What a great loss to us all.

Yours, Carol Schulz
Des Moines, WA
linusq at att.net

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