[Tweeters] Sikes Lake - Western Grebe and Huge Numbers of Swallows

johntubbs at comcast.net johntubbs at comcast.net
Fri Sep 10 11:48:50 PDT 2010

Hi everyone,

On my way to an errand this morning, I drove by Sikes Lake.  There was a single Western Grebe on the lake.  One to a handful of this species shows up on this lake in spring and/or fall pretty reliably, usually not tarrying very long. 

Additionally, and very impressively, the power and telephone lines between the Sikes Lake Bridge and the horse ranch driveway were literally crammed with swallows.  I was unable to stop and check for species, though just looking up as I drove by indicated at a minimum Violet-green and Barn.  This was the highest number of swallows I've ever seen at the lake (which can be very busy with swallows) by at least an order of magnitude - it was pretty amazing.  My first reaction was that the birds are either staging to begin a group migration, or this is already a migrating group that was refueling here.  We've all heard the stories about Doppler radar sometimes being able to pick up a large migrating flock of birds under certain conditions, and this was the first time I've personally seen a group of passerines that seemed big enough to cause that situation.  Who knows if they'll stay around (or even if they're still there for that matter) but if you're in the area, you might want to drive by and check this out - it certainly was impressive.  Also, one could assume there might be some Bank Swallows in the mix (again - I did not see any, but didn't look closely) given the proximity of Sikes Lake to the colony at Stillwater. 

John Tubbs

Snoqualmie, WA

johntubbs at comcast.net


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