[Tweeters] "Just Ducky" at the Fill

Blair Bernson blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com
Tue Oct 25 18:34:42 PDT 2011

Just got back from a visit to the Montlake fill.
Beautiful fall weather with great light from the
west (tough looking into the west) and Mt. Rainier
out in its brilliance. Concentrated on scoping
for waterbirds - mostly looking at the MANY ducks
that were scattered in all areas. At the end of
the visit, I had noted 11 different duck species
and tried very hard to find one more to get to an
even dozen but no success. In the cove to the
southeast there were perhaps 20 Ring Necks (1),
several dozen Gadwalls (2), some Mallards (3),
more than 20 Buffleheads (4), many American Wigeon
(5) and the highlight was three beautiful male
Redheads (6). I then moved over to the main
channel of the Lake - with Rainier as the back
drop - where there were many more Mallards and
Gadwall, another dozen plus Ring Necks and another
20+ Buffleheads. A surprising addition was a fly
by pair of Common Mergansers (7) than landed
somewhere west into the brilliant sunlight. There
was a huge raft of Wigeon - guessing close to 200
- that included at least one Eurasian Wigeon (8)
and perhaps a second. I then continued over to
Southwest Pond where there were three Northern
Shovelers (9) - the same birds I had seen on
Sunday on the Main Pond. The sun was now getting
very low so looking West was difficult. As I got
to the cove at the west end of the fill (in front
of the boathouse), I flushed a bird that was
literally right at my feet - turned out to be a
brilliant male Wood Duck (10) an absolute beauty.
Across the water a few minutes later, a small
group of Green Winged Teal (11) came into some
brushy cover ... my last duck species for the
day. On the return to the parking lot I scoped
diligently hoping for a surprise like a Ruddy or
Canvasback or Pintail or even a Scaup - but no
such luck. A dozen would have been terrific, but
I was very pleased to get the 11 that I did. I
did not spend much time looking for anything else,
but noted MANY Double Crested Cormorants, American
Coots and Pied Billed Grebes, lots of crows like
usual, Red Winged Blackbirds (I saw none on
Sunday), many Song Sparrows, two Marsh Wrens, two
Kinglets, a dozen or more Black Capped Chickadees,
an unidentified warbler, some house finches, many
robins, an American Bald Eagle, at least 6 Great
Blue Herons, and an Anna's Hummingbird.

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