[Tweeters] Montlake Fill this morning

Evan Houston evanghouston at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 8 14:50:56 PDT 2011

Hi Tweeters,
It was a nice morning today (10-8) for my field trip for UW Biology students at the Montlake Fill.  Here are my highlight among 62 species:
- Turkey Vulture - a Fill "lifer" for me as we saw a group of 5 kettling.  After breaking that "jinx" (I've made over 200 trips to the Fill w/o seeing this species), I spotted vultures 3 additional times this morning for a total of 9 birds - isn't that how it often seems to work?  Also at least 4 Cooper's Hawks.
- waterbirds included 7 Horned Grebes, 1 Northern Pintail, 3 Ruddy Ducks, and a couple of Greater Scaup (Lesser Scaup seem to be much more common at the Fill)
- a few getting-late birds were 3 Vaux's Swifts and a Warbling Vireo
- less common Fill passerines included a Varied Thrush at Surber, and a Purple Finch by the Wedding Rocks
- a juv. Green Heron was perched in the same spot for at least 2 hours along the Main Pond
- since the Biology students don't know much about birds, their favorite bird encounters are usually great views of cool behavior, so tops for today was the male Red-winged Blackbird who vividly flared his red and yellow epaulets while calling to proclaim his favorite spot in the cattails.

Good birding,
Evan Houston
Seattle, WA
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