[Tweeters] Notes from Roy -- 3-1-2009: More Swallows and Raptors today

Denis DeSilvis avnacrs4birds at q.com
Sun Mar 1 22:04:52 PST 2009


The cloudy, damp, and windy weather brought a good group of TREE SWALLOWS in
this morning - probably 10-15. They hung around through about noon, then
went elsewhere.

Raptors were very visible: An immature BALD EAGLE spent most of the morning
on a snag well to the east, but it did manage to stretch its wings once over
our part of the wetland. The local COOPER'S HAWK was out front perching
about 12 feet over the ground-feeding area for nearly an hour. In early
afternoon a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK came in and circled hard around one of the
feeding areas out back, but it never got what it was chasing: saw it fly up
and soar, circling and gaining altitude, toward the south. A RED-TAILED HAWK
visited the old nest out back, and was cruising this side of the wetland
when the Sharpie made its run. In late afternoon, my wife yelled down to me
that a hawk was cruising out back - I looked out and saw a female NORTHERN
HARRIER heading north, then spotted it coming back south against the wind,
with two other female harriers - all three came right through the feeding
areas quite close to the house. Spotted two of the harriers coming back
through the wetland about 20 mins later. First time we've had a trifecta of
harriers. We walked north up the road toward another RED-TAILED HAWK nest,
and spotted the female at its usual perch high atop a Doug-fir - and then
watched as the male came in and copulated. It flew off, perched briefly in a
nearby fir, then went to the nest, landed and then took off over the pasture
to the west. The female remained atop the perch the whole time, and was
still there when we walked back home. Last year, the female started sitting
on eggs March 5, and I'm keeping my eye on the nest across the street to see
when this RTHA will start.

The singing DARK-EYED JUNCO out front kept us entertained while we worked
clearing out one of the garage bays - at least it was there until the Coop
came into the area. Not as many MOURNING DOVES hanging out - possibly only
20 or so. Could be the Coop is keeping them scarce. Lots of GOLDEN-CROWNED
SPARROWS out back this morning - probably a dozen or so, along with at least

Between 30 and 50 AMERICAN ROBINS (had over 300 three weeks ago) continue to
come in and perch on the Douglas-firs every late afternoon, early evening,
probably just before heading to roost for the night. Several were singing,
and one robin has been taking up residence out front and singing in the

The KILLDEER (pair) came back today; they left when the snow came in earlier
in the week. We're hoping they have as successful a nesting as the pair that
were here last year. Could be the same birds.

Putting more nestboxes up this week (I hope) - trying for Violet-green
Swallows this year. Haven't had any nest in any of the other boxes, so we're
hoping a couple of boxes under the eaves of the new garden shed will do the

May all your birds be identified,

Denis DeSilvis

Roy, WA

Mailto: avnacrs4birds at q.com

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