[Tweeters] Things are a-hoppin' in Tenino

Paul Hicks phicks at accessgrace.org
Sat Jul 16 17:12:40 PDT 2016

Yes, the STP is running through Tenino this weekend. We're accustomed to it. But in my 25 years birding the same patch -- within a stone's throw from the bicyclists -- I've never seen the birds so incredibly active as this morning. New firsts are always fun!

It figured to be a birdy day when I heard an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER calling from my window -- a first yard bird as of last week. At the Heernet/Creekside Conservancy property I found WARBLING, HUTTON'S, and CASSIN'S VIREO together, a first such combo for me. My last and best bird of the day: BANK SWALLOW at Mull Street, only my third record here, including one last year.

Along a 50-yard stretch of mixed woods and edge a variety of individual birds and family groups with young, a dozen species, were feverishly foraging for insects (not berries). Many, most notably Wilson's Warblers, were unusually confiding. At one point I counted 18 birds cramming into a meager willow to check me out at super-close range: 10 scolding chickadees plus warblers and vireos. No less than 35 birds came and went, including 15 chickadees, 10 Wilson's Warblers, 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, several Warbling Vireos, a hummingbird, woodpecker and tanager. Were they just curious young-uns? Protective parents? Was I wearing a color that set them off? (The only bright color was the lid of a water bottle barely showing.)

Birds that were present:
- Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadee
- Brown Creeper, Bewick's Wren
- Warbling, Hutton's Cassin's Vireo
- Black-throated Gray, Orange-crowned, Wilson's Warbler
- Downy Woodpecker, N Flicker
- Am Robin, Swainson's Thrush
- Rufous Hummingbird, Cedar Waxwing
- Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak
- Barn and Violet-green Swallow
- Rufous Hummingbird, Pacific-slope Flycatcher
- Song Sparrow, Purple Finch
- Willow Flycatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eur Collared Dove, Spotted Towhee

Good birding!
-- Paul Hicks / Tenino, S Thurston Co / ph icks AT acc essgrace DOT org

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