[Tweeters] Swan Creek & Dupont Cassin's Vireo & BTGray Warbler

Marcus Roening marcus at rainierconnect.com
Sun Apr 10 18:56:08 PDT 2016

Hi Tweets,

What a beautiful weekend to find new migrants in Pierce County. On Saturday, Bruce LaBar found a Townsend’s Solitaire in the old burn area/clearing of Swan Creek Park in East Tacoma. While Heather and I didn’t find the bird on Saturday, we did find it on a return trip the following morning. Lots of Purple Finches singing from the tops of the Firs and Chipping Sparrow, as well. On Saturday we saw 2 singing Cassin’s Vireos that we were able to get nice looks at singing in a Madrone. On Sunday, we didn’t relocate the vireos, but did see our first singing male Black-throated Gray Warbler of the year.

To get to Swan Creek take the Portland Ave exit south, 44th East about 4 blocks and turn south right before the elementary school on T Street. Walk in from the gate. This is also a great mountain biking area that has been recently developed.

On Sunday after checking out Swan Creek, we went south to Dupont to hike the Sequalitchew Creek Trail. It is a lovely 1. 5 hike down a creek canyon all the way to the waterfront with a nice view of Nisqually NWR estuary. It is a perfectly graded trail as this was where the narrow gauge railroad carrying the explosives (that Dupont!) went down to the waterfront. It is paved for about a 1/3 of the way and the rest is so nicely graveled that strong young men from JBLM were pushing strollers up and down.

We had a nice migrant flock at the top of the canyon where the trail first meets the creek and pavement: 10 YR Warblers, 2 Black-throated Gray Warblers & a Cassin’s Vireo along with Downy Woodpecker and Red-breasted Sapsucker to keep things hopping. They warblers were especially interested in the flowers of the Big-Leaf Maples. There were still a small number of waterbirds off the beach, with White-winged Scoters being one of the scarcer Pierce County sightings.

The trail head for Sequalitchew Creek starts at Dupont City Hall. Take the Center Street exit off of I –5 and follow it as it curves around heading back north, you’ll see the Blue signs for city hall and the fire station on Civic Drive.

Good Birding,

Marcus Roening
Tacoma WA
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