[Tweeters] Magnuson Park, 31 March - 1 April 2012

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Sun Apr 1 17:01:31 PDT 2012

On Saturday, the winter weather broke for a spell in the afternoon, and
I used the break for a short walk at the park, mostly to check on the
Anna's Hummingbird nests. Of the three recently occupied, two are now
abandoned. Both of these nests were placed in bare trees with no cover
at all; they are pretty easy to see from the trail, both by humans and
the probable predator(s). The third nest has two young; momma was out
shopping when I stopped by. This nest is challenging to find, nestled in
a Hawthorn covered with moss and lichen and densely woven branches.
Location ...

Other notables: a breeding plumage Common Loon, at least 8 Red-breasted
Mergansers, and a flock of Violet-green Swallows that numbered close to

Today, the weather was mostly dry but quite windy, and the white-caps on
the lake made scoping a challenge. The swim platform was practically
covered by Mew Gull. Only a few Scaup are left: less than 10 Lesser and
maybe 30 Greater; the Common Goldeneye are still present in good numbers.

Four raptors: Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, a Merlin that made a
half-hearted strafing of a tree full of Cedar Waxwings, and 2 adult
Cooper's Hawks. The first, a male was being mobbed by half a dozen
crows, all larger than the accipiter. Later, a single crow tried to
harass a female coop who didn't even flinch. Noticeably larger than the
crow, she simply levitated on the thermals while the crow spent an
enormous amount of energy.

When the waxwings were monitoring the Merlin, a group of 4 Northern
Flickers flew in to the same tree, one at a time, perhaps to exploit the
protection of a crowd? As soon as the Merlin left, the flickers did too,
but the waxwings stayed on.

The number of Violet-green Swallows seemed to double today. Saw my
Magnuson FOS Savannah Sparrow. In the meadows behind USGS, a couple of
nest boxes have been put up. But, a Black-capped Chickadee showed total
disdain for a box just 5 feet below as it worked to expand a crevice in
the tree. The box probably looked pretty nice to those who put it up.
Maybe they should ask the intended tenants.

56 species for the two trips. 85 species for the year.

Scott Ramos

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