After Saturday's fabulous sighting of a Sandhill Crane at the Montlake Fill, Truman and I headed back down there Sunday morning to see what else might be about. Goodness, the place was practically overrun by a huge flock of Birdus raritanus. In other words, birders from all over, chasing rarities -- not just the crane, but a Clay-colored Sparrow reported the day before.
While I enjoy sharing "my" local patch with others, this felt more like an invasion. Every hundred feet or so there was a birder or two or a whole pack, scoping out the brambles for the sparrow, or asking if the crane had been seen. Tru and I walked around the loop, and saw very little other than a Cooper's Hawk that one of the invaders excitedly mis-identified as a Northern Harrier. Most of the birds seemed to be hiding -- well, I would be, too, if there were a party of strangers in my living room.
We went home to peace and quiet. Turned out nobody saw the crane or the sparrow that day. Truman and I went out again in the afternoon to Meadowbrook Pond to admire the perfectly common ducks, with hardly any people around. It was ever so lovely.
Here are some perfectly fine and quite ordinary Northern Shovelers:
No bird chasers were interested in this pair of Mallards:
Nor did these American Wigeons draw much attention:
But Truman and I admired them greatly. Here is the male wigeon:
And here is the female wigeon:
Of course, Truman's admiration of birds only goes so far. Here he is giving me his trademark "WHEN DO WE GET TO GO HOME???!?" expression:
A fine afternoon indeed!