[Tweeters] Full Fill

Constance Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Thu Sep 4 04:11:31 PDT 2008


Hey tweets, The Fill was really hopping yesterday, although it didn't
start out that way. I got there about 7 a.m. and set up my camp stool
at the cottonwood grove just south of the Wedding Rock (which is in the
grass glade at the eastern beginning of Wahkiakum Lane). The air was
really still, which I figured would be a help in finding warblers among
the giant, otherwise wiggly leaves of the cottonwoods. These trees are
among the first to catch the morning light, which warms up the bugs,
thus attracting warblers, but it can be hard to locate the birds if the
wind is acting up. Getting here first thing in the morning before the
sun heats up the air and gets the wind stirring is a good idea. On this
particular day, however, nothing was stirring. The longer I sat there,
the more the feeling crept upon me: Other birders are out there
somewhere finding birds. That's why I haven't seen anyone come by.
They're all clustered around some mega-rarity. Meanwhile, here I sit,
looking at trees. Empty trees. Furthermore, the longer I sit here, the
more certain it will be that when I do find that cluster of birders,
they are bound to say those fell words: "You should have been here five
minutes ago."

These are not the thoughts for which I come to the Fill to think. They
violate the zen-like peace of mind I seek. They are the opposite of
the dictum, "Bloom where you're planted." I was planted by the
cottonwoods, but I was definitely not blooming. I leaped up to go, but
go where? The Fill is a big place. I scurried down the trail and headed
for the point, still hoping to find warblers before the wind kicked up.
And I did (see below). More important, once I started seeing birds
(*any* birds), I found the joy. Mind you, if I had also found that
cluster of birders who can't seem to help suggesting that I turn back
the clock five minutes, I would have had to grit my teeth.

Among my favorite sightings:
Northern Pintail
Osprey fishing over the lake
Virginia Rail still calling in the cattails on the bay
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD in the bushes on the eastern shore of the main pond
Green Heron ensconced under the willows on the south end of the main
pond
YELLOW, WILSON'S, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS foraging in the
cottonwoods overhanging the loop trail, along with WARBLING VIREOS and
a calling RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH.

Surber continues super. I found there: Band-tailed Pigeon, Vaux's
Swift, Anna's Hummingbird, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Warbling
Vireo, CASSIN'S VIREO, Steller's Jay, American Crow, Barn Swallow,
Black-capped Chickadee, Bushtit, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, Bewick's Wren,
American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned
Warbler, BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, WESTERN TANAGER, Song Sparrow,
and House Finch.

It was a great day. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com



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