[Tweeters] Fill today

Connie Sidles constancesidles at gmail.com
Fri Feb 10 19:30:05 PST 2012

Hey tweets, Dodging raindrops this morning, I took my usual walk
around the Fill and got my usual reward: uncommon beauty that inspires
and uplifts the heart. Today this took the form of "my guy," the
Tufted Duck, who was diving for his mussel breakfast off East Point
for quite a while. I noticed that a lot of people were disappointed
today by not seeing him; my advice is, try to get there early. I
arrive shortly before dawn, and he has been extremely reliable off
East Point then.

Beauty today was also supplied by a female Pileated Woodpecker flying
laps around the Fill. There are few sights more breathtaking than a
Pileated opening and shutting her white and black wings as she knifes
through the air, red top glowing in the light. I have great hopes that
she is looking for a nest spot somewhere on the fill's premises.
Wouldn't *that* be something!

The insouciant Barrow's Goldeneye continues feeding in University
Slough, oblivious to the pile driver pounding, the cement pouring, the
workers shouting. I don't know how he does it. When the atmospheric
and wind conditions are right, that pile driver can sound like it's
driving a stake straight into my cerebellum. Yet the duck floats and
dives placidly as though he were in some edenic pond.

Also on view today: several Lincoln's Sparrows, a few Golden-crowneds,
a couple of White-crowneds (they have been scarce), and a giant flock
of Pine Siskins. Kathy and Arn Slettebak and I sorted through the
flock several times without producing a redpoll, sad to say. But it
was great fun watching these small finches at work. They came down
from the heights of the alder tops to bathe in a little pool beside
the parking lot and to dine off something too small for us to see that
clung to the boughs of one of the shrubs near the Wedding Rock. I
especially enjoyed one little guy who spread out his wings after he
bathed, like a tiny cormorant trying to get dry. - Connie, Seattle

constancesidles at gmail.com
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