[Tweeters] magnussen Park pipit and piper

James M Campanelli jcampane at u.washington.edu
Wed Jan 18 15:26:15 PST 2012

Hi All,
I had a great time today running around the wetlands trying to see if iI could find one of the pipits that were seen and I think I may have. I chose the spot because I believe it was mentioned that they were in a flock of mixed gold crowns sparrows and juncos and when I slid to a stop there was a large flock trying to hold onto grass heads and eek out a meal from the snow covered hill. I chased them around and at one point I was pretty sure i had seen one pipit among them as well as a Lincolns sparrow among the others. I remember thinking how pretty it was with the dark and distinct streaking and the golden hue of the feathers.
After taking several bad photos of shoveler, gads, coots, bullheaded, 4 western meadowlarks, and the flock of (~12) kildeer passed over head squealing I decided i had enough of trying to see with ice needles pierced my eyes and the lenses I was using crusted over. I packed up and headed to the off leash area to "reward" the dogs with some play in the snow after being so good sitting in the cold letting me look at what I'm sure they thought was just food.
I got to the beach area and there was a group of 4 canvas backs and a small group of birds picking the shore. One pipit(no doubt) one sandpiper(I think it was least) one song sparrow, one gold crown and what was either a common snipe or long billed dowitcher. I see a lot of snipe around the area but usually not in the open on a beach. The bird looked a med dark grey all over, not the usual snipe patterning on the back with the only real distinguishing mark was the bill length to body proportion.
The sandpiper seemed somewhat greyer overall than the least but the size and the pattern of color over the breast was pretty clear, definitely too dark for semi-palmated which I believe would be a real rarity here anyway.
The most interesting bit for the day went to the pipit. Now that I am back home and looking in my books I keep seeing the bird- but it is identified as the red throated pipit winter plumage. Same kind of bird seen at the wetlands. It was definitely of a golden base color and it was not the lighting, it was pretty cold lighting. If anyone is brave enough to take out after it, maybe you have a dog that is looking longingly at the snow, they all seemed completely comfortable evading the pack of 10 huskies, 2 labs and a Bernese mountain dog that were playfully chasing them and each other. The huskies tired and the birds were still picking the shore an hour later when we left. I would love to get confirmation of the birds.
All in all a great day birding, and I'm back at the feeders and sorting photos.
James (jamie) Campanelli
Shoreline Wa

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