Good Day Birding after Snowmageddon

in #birding4 years ago

SACR_6855 2019-02-12 Orting.JPG
First winter Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis

I grew up in Maine, where it snows a lot, and although I've lived here in WA for 30+ years, I never cease to be amazed at how poorly Washingtonians and our local governments deal with snow storms. That said we did get the largest accumulation of snow in decades over the last week. Yesterday in Tacooma the snow stopped, it had been raining for a few hours, and the roads became more passable.

SACR_6865 2019-02-12 Orting.JPG

I took advantage and got out for a walk on the waterfront and came across a flock of Bushtits Psaltriparus minimus , a Pierce County FOY (first of year) species for me. Just as I got home Michael Charest put out a text on our Pierce County birder group text that a friend of his in Orting had seen what he though was a crane in his cul-de-sac neighborhood. Michael went out and found an immature Sandhill Crane walking around the driveway and feeding under ornamental bushes. I quickly contacted Bruce LaBar and Will Brooks and we dashed out to see for ourselves. Sure enough the Sandhill Crane was there as promised. Not just a FOY but a first ever county species for Will and me, and a FOY for Bruce.

SACR_6876 2019-02-12 Orting.JPG
Note the car parked in the driveway where the Sandhill Crane was foraging.

We found the bird so easily we had daylight left and decided to drive the West Orting Farm loop roads, and Will heard, and I subsequently heard a Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana calling from a wet field. We could not get it to come in to pishing, but did manage to hear it call distinctly several times, so yet one more Pierce County first for me.
A great way to celebrate the end of being snowed in and stuck at home not birding.

GWGU_6910 2019-02-13 at the Gog.JPG
Off topic, but a fortuitous (though bleached out) shot of a Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens pooping as it flew overhead this morning.

Good birding. Steem on!


love the Action photo, too, of the gull!

Spent some time up in Maine lately, with a shot or two of a Snowy Owl.
Not sure if you heard about this, but there was a a rare juvenile Great Black Hawk, blown up from South America that ended up spending a few months in Portland. Sadly, he had to be euthanized. Ended up with Frost Bite on his claws.

Nice shots! I only ever see these cranes in summer. By the way, if you miss the snow, just come to my blog. lol

How many degrees do these birds stand? Obviously it's really cold there but here they are..strolling around.

I think it is much colder here now than they are accustomed to facing, but this bird seems to be OK. We will see if it picks up and finishes its migration or if it succumbs to the cold or starves here. Here's to hoping for moving on.

Impressive that you caught gull poop in free fall. I usually just catch it on my shoulders, walking around downtown Port Townsend.

This state is not good at dealing with snow. We were basically trapped in the house for two days... after just nine inches. Now the 80" that fell at Snoqualmie Pass in three days and shut down I-90? THAT is some serious snowfall by any measure!

Can't say I have ever seen a Sandhill Crane around these parts.... congratulations on that!

This post has received a 67.41 % upvote from @boomerang.

Here in philippines snow was nothing very hot our climate here...

good pictures, nice birds


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