[Tweeters] No Sikes Lake Harris's Sparrow, still a great day

Jason Vassallo Jason.Vassallo at outlook.com
Tue Jan 3 15:54:58 PST 2017

Hey tweets,

I went birding in the cold Snoqualmie valley today following a report of a Harris’s Sparrow at Sikes Lake. There was no sign of any sparrows when I first got to Sikes Lake earlier in the morning, but it was very cold and the sun wasn’t fully out yet. I did see some cool birds there though including the continuing Rough-legged Hawk, Western Meadowlarks, and was able to pick out one Tundra among the clustered Swans in the bad lighting.

I went to go do some other birding while I waited for the sun to warm up Sikes a little more. There wasn’t much happening at Tolt-Macdonald. At Carnation Marsh, however, I was able to get a Swamp Sparrow to respond to playback by the bridge. The bird ended up coming right in by the bridge and gave great looks. Definitely the most cooperative Swamp Sparrow experience I have had, and it was my first time photographing this species.

Heading back to Sikes, there was not any sparrow activity in the reported Harris’s spot besides a few Juncos. I was able to get much better looks at Tundra Swans this time and got to enjoy them fly close by when the Swans took off. I continued down to NE 100th street where I know there is good sparrow habitat. That seemed to be where all the sparrows were hanging as I came across a huge group. I pished up big numbers of Zonos, but I was almost surprised to not find the Harris’s among them. For future searchers, I would definitely suggest checking along this road though as it could have definitely been hiding there.

To finish out the day I stopped at McCormick Park in Duvall where I always enjoy seeing good numbers of Wilson Snipes. The usual White-throated Sparrow spot there was full of Golden-crowns, but there did not appear to be a White-throated with them.

Good birding,
Jason Vassallo
Jason.vassallo at outlook.com<mailto:Jason.vassallo at outlook.com>
Seattle/Santa Clara University

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