Birder's Guide

MAR 2016

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 70 of 75

69 March 2016 | Birder's Guid e to Travel trail (starting at either main parking area) will take you through meadows good for Golden-crowned Sparrows, "Sooty" Fox Sparrows, and Lincoln's Sparrows. The forest holds opportunities for Chestnut- backed Chickadees in winter feeding focks with kinglets, nuthatches, and creep- ers. Additionally, there are many Varied Thrushes, every woodpecker Seattle has to offer and, in good years, every common fnch species. It's not uncommon to fnd a Barred Owl while in the open forests, and with luck, Northern Saw-whet Owls may be found in winter months. Other raptors are also numerous, from Red-tailed and Cooper's hawks to Merlins and Peregrine Falcons. Hutton's Vireos are residents, and in warmer months, the songs of many Neotropical migrants echo through the forests, including Black-throated Gray and Townsend's warblers, Western Tanagers, and Pacifc-slope Flycatchers. Band-tailed Pigeon are commonly seen fying overhead year-round but are especially visible dur- ing spring when they're displaying. Access to the shores of the Sound is best at the Westpoint Lighthouse (park- ing permits are available for free from the Visitor Center; frst come frst served), where you can scope a large expanse. Every loon, grebe, and diving duck one could expect on Puget Sound can be seen from this vantage. It's a good place to try for Parasitic Jaegers (September–October), as well as Heermann's (July–December) and Bonaparte's gulls (July–December and March–May). A perusal of the beach can turn up various shorebirds depending on the season. During fall and spring migra- tions, Western Sandpipers show up, and Sanderlings like the sandy stretches in winter. It's a few miles of hiking to get to the beach without obtaining a parking per- mit, and a scope is essential for waterbirds. Fom left to right: n Male Harlequin Ducks. Photo © Jerry McFarland n Female Varied Thrush. Photo © Skip Russell n Band-tailed Pigeon. Photo © Skip Russell Background image: n Myrtle Edwards Park shoreline. Photo © vmax137

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