[Tweeters] Seattle birding by bus big day 2016

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Mon May 2 22:05:15 PDT 2016

On April 30, a group consisting of Sharon, Joanne, Jeanelle, Evan, Matt and myself participated in our 5th annual big day of birding Seattle’s big parks with travel mostly by bus (and some carpool). Some of us started the day at Magnuson Park for early owling, then we all met at Discovery Park, first at West Point, then on a walkabout starting at the visitor center, a large weave until the south meadow, West Point and the north beach, then out toward the Ballard Locks. After the traditional Red Mill meal, we bused to Husky Stadium and ambled through the Union Bay Natural Area. Another bus ride took us back to Magnuson Park to round out the day.

No real surprises except that we missed several expected recent migrants. We ended the day with 106 species, slightly below our tally from last year; a list follows. Notable sightings include the following:

Barn Owl - 2; we managed to find owls at one of the nest boxes—one was inside and another was calling nearby
Brant - several; a lone brant was on S beach early and was repeatedly targeted by an adult BEAE - the Brant eluded capture by diving, and a crow and a gull came in to harass the eagle
Common Merganser - flyby flock heading N, initially seen not over sound, but above the edge of the upper part of the park
Red-throated Loon - juvenile heading S
Brandt’s Cormorant - a couple dozen in a pure flock off of S beach
Bonaparte’s Gull - 72; at least this many in a count of a single scan, most in breeding plumage with black head
Band-tailed Pigeon - half a dozen, in display flights
Barred Owl - 2 different day-roosting birds, not that far apart, both made evident by complaining crows, robins, and others
Red-breasted Sapsucker - a pair at pond near Daybreak Star; interacting, not clear from our observation whether they were interacting agonistically or antagonistically; these birds made for a nice 5/5 sweep of woodpeckers for the day at Discovery
Hutton’s Vireo - half a dozen; at one point a bird started singing near visitor center, and set off at least 3-4 total territorial males singing
Steller’s Jay - 17; migrants going back and forth along bluff, apparently wanting to head W but not willing to brave the crossing
Hermit Thrush - a couple, calling and singing early
Nashville Warbler - a nice find by Matt near chapel. loosely associated with a flock of YRWA and others, but mostly sticking to itself lower down in a maple. singing odd songs that were not immediately recognizable as NAWA to us
Lincoln’s Sparrow - 1 singing a bit near S meadow, other near N end of bird alley
Greater White-fronted Goose - Probably same bird present all winter at UNBA. By itself in a cove near the shell house.
Canvasback - Getting pretty late. With scaup flock to east on Union Bay
Ruddy Duck - 1; even with scopes, had to work hard to pull this out
Pied-billed Grebe - about a dozen, including this family group of adorable new chicks getting a ride:
Western Grebe - at least 800!! Long line strung out on far side of Lake Washington, viewed from near boat launch at Magnuson
Cooper’s Hawk - a likely nesting pair were apparently returning to their nest on Promontory Point
Vaux’s Swift - at least 9, at end of the day
Cedar Waxwing - maybe a dozen, near the 65th St entrance to Magnuson

Scott Ramos

eBird Checklist Summary for: April 30, 2016, 4:19 am to 6:50 pm

Number of checklists: 4
Number of Species: 106 (+6 other taxa)

Greater White-fronted Goose
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Greater/Lesser Scaup
Harlequin Duck
Surf Scoter
Common Goldeneye
Common/Barrow's Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Red-throated Loon
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Western Grebe
Brandt's Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail
American Coot
Least Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
peep sp.
Common Murre
Pigeon Guillemot
Rhinoceros Auklet
Bonaparte's Gull
Mew Gull
California Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
Larus sp.
Caspian Tern
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Barn Owl
Barred Owl
Vaux's Swift
Anna's Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Hutton's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Steller's Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Tree/Violet-green Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren
Bewick's Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Townsend's Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Dark-eyed Junco
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Purple Finch
Red Crossbill
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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