[Tweeters] Thurston County Sunday

Tim Brennan tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 18 19:36:42 PDT 2012

Hey Tweets!

Got up eeearrlly this morning in Renton to make a run up Vantine Road near Tenino for owls. Last year I hit it in mid February, and had multiple Great Horned and Northern Saw-whet Owls - Not this year! It was a little drizzly, which may have kept them hunkered down, but I was still able at the very end of the 4 mile road to get a Barred Owl calling. Other good birds on the road before dawn included Varied Thrushes galore, Virginia Rails at the marsh near the end of the road, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, and Wilson's Snipe.

Now, I wouldn't advertise another birder's feeder, but there's a good one in Tenino, and when I was caught viewing from the road, the order of events went 1) "Come on in!" followed by 2) "Who are you?" Birders are a funny lot, eh? Pair of binocs'll get you in anywhere! A very nice stop for Mourning Dove, Western Scrub Jay, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, 8 bajillion Golden-crowned Sparrows (maybe only 30-40), Varied Thrush, Robins, California Quail, Dark-eyed Junco, Spotted Towhee and Pine Siskins!

I grabbed breakfast at the cafe in town, then heading back up towards Olympia on Old Highway 99, I kept thinking it looked like there oughta be a Meadowlark on a fencepost, and had just given up when I saw one on a fence by the Olympia Airport.

In Olympia itself, there have been reports of a Say's Phoebe on Capitol Lake, so that was my next stop, and it was right in the area previously described - Southeast corner of the lake, right in front of Swing Wine Bar, playing in the trees. There were six Violet-Green Swallows on the lake as well, my first of the year. From there, my last stops were on the waterfront behind the Thriftway, and behind Anthony's, where I found 8 baj..well, maybe it was 40 Red-breasted Mergansers, along with many Common Mergansers, Common Goldeneye, DC Cormorants (couldn't find other species..), Horned Grebes, and Pigeon Guillemots.

Drizzly off and on, but still a great morning.

Happy birding!

Tim Brennan
www.39counties.blogspot.com (which I include not because I'm still blogging, but because I hit many of the same spots around Tenino last year, and blogged it back then)

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