[Tweeters] Snowed-in birding: Sno Co SNOW BUNTING, BOHEMIAN WAX, Rubies struggling

Scott Atkinson scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 20 16:11:29 PST 2012

Tweeters: Up in n. Lake Stevens at Tiny's Land, we had 10-11 inches of snow over the last few days. Was able to get some work done thanks to the recent arrival of wireless out our way, but lost that about 48 hours ago. No matter, between shovelling snow and chain-sawing fallen alders/birches along the 800-ft drive, had little time for working on-line anyway. Yesterday morning early, while walking down the long drive to check 84th Street NE one more time for drivability, clearly heard a SNOW BUNTING flying south overhead. This is a heavily-forested area, so hardly appropriate, but as the bird was flying southbound one could presume it was headed for a field/pasture in Lake Stevens. In the swirling snow/frozen rain coming down, I could not see the bird through the trees. Then today, just 6 miles west at Marysville, I spotted eight BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS at a residence just west of the YMCA grounds along 4th Street. The birds were in an apple tree and then flew southward in the general direction of Sunnyside Blvd. Behavioral note: I observed RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS yesterday exhibiting strange behavior. The first bird was acting semi-tame along the entry drive--it landed on the snow, then in low fallen twigs, and then took a brief sally upward as if flycatching (!). As the temperature was in the mid-20s, this seemed weird. I was also able to come within a few feet of the bird. Then I reached Getchell Junction by car a few hours later, a second bird was acting about thesame, but was even more tame--in fact, I could have probably caught the bird with a bit of effort. It was flitting along the base of windows and then flew underneath a vehicle, whose driver was getting gas (!). One thinks the cold is hard on several birds, and Rubies just don't do well with extended cold. There was no sign, either, of the Townsend's Warbler that has been with the chickadees at our place this winter. Perhapsthe bird headed for town where someone's suet might helpmake it through the cold. VARIED THRUSH made their usual incursion into the area associated with the snow. One bird was singing (!) several times near the yard's edge yesterday. Total list of birds seen 1/17-1/20, Getchell Area/Tiny's Land Bufflehead 2 (flyovers Getchell Junction)Red-tailed Hawk 1N. Flicker 1Pileated Woodpecker 1Hairy Woodpecker 1Red-breasted Sapsucker 1crow sp 4Com. Raven 1Steller's Jay 2Black-capped Chickadee 2Chestnut-backed Chickadee 16Pacific Wren 10Bewick's Wren 1Brown Creeper 4Golden-crowned Kinglet 18Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2Bushtit 5Am. Robin 5Varied Thrush 11BOHEMIAN WAXWING 8 (Marysville YMCA)Eur. Starling 1Evening Grosbeak 5Pine Siskin 15Red Crossbill 3House Finch 1DE (Oregon) Junco 10Song Sparrow 5SNOW BUNTING 1 (heard only 1/19)Red-winged Blackbird 1 (Getchell Junction) 29 species Scott AtkinsonLake Stevensmail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com

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