Monday, May 1, 2017

East Meets West

At the Montlake Fill on Friday things started off normally -- there was a perfectly ordinary Killdeer hanging around:

And a perfectly ordinary Red-tailed Hawk:

Which got chased off by ordinary crows:

Everything was nice and quiet and full of the Same Old Usual Birds until I got about halfway round the loop trail, where a birder studied the trees intently.  When I arrived, she said, "Connie was just here and thinks she saw a Brewer's Sparrow!"

Well, she did see a Brewer's Sparrow -- and so did I, spotting it a few seconds later flitting from branch to branch in heavy foliage among a lot of Yellow-rumped Warblers.  This is what it looked like:

It's very plain and pale overall, and the perfectly non-ordinary thing about it is that it's not supposed to hang out west of the Cascades.  This is a desert/brush/scablands bird -- where its coloring works well.  I've seen them outside Ellensburg where they belong.  But somehow this eastern Washington bird managed to find its way to western Washington, where it surprised the birders at the Fill.  Connie says it's only the third recorded sighting there.

You just never know what might turn up on a perfectly ordinary day.

After birding the Fill, Truman and I stopped at the Magnuson Park community garden where I did a quick sketch  of a tulip bed, and then we called it good.

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