Again, along the creek lunch hour was exciting. My first Pacific-slope Flycatchers of the spring were present near the intersection Poe, Bryant and Palo Alto Avenues. Two birds called repeatedly but were never seen. Closer to the intersection with Cowper along the creek, singing Townsend's Warblers were active. Singing Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Hermit Thrush were also present in the area.
My lunch time walk along the San Francisquito Creek produced some Raptor activity. A lumbering Red-tailed Hawk made the mistake of entering a Red-shouldered Hawk pairs territory and was subjected to a rapid attack from both birds. As well, an American Crow entered into the fight and joined with pair to drive off the intruder.
I flew to Seattle, WA on Monday afternoon for a presscheck and had a bit of time to wander around the city the following morning before returning to the plant for the first of three checks. Within an hour of walking by the waterfront I noticed a huge form being harassed overhead by a team of 10 Glaucous-winged Gulls. As you probably guessed, it was a Bald Eagle (immature), the one bird I had hoped to see during my stay. Other birds I noticed, all without the benefit of my binoculars, which I forgot to bring, were 14 Barrow's Goldeneyes, 2 Pigeon Guillemots, a Red-necked Grebe, a Horned Grebe, and 2 Peregrine Falcons. Apparently, I was also in the range of Northwest Crow. Did I see any? I'm not sure. I saw quite a few Crows, and I supposed they did seem a bit smaller than our American Crow, but I cannot be certain they were Northwesterns. The Northwestern voice is quite different and its preferred habitat markedly more coastal than the American species... But these birds were in a waterfront park, and not on the shore. They called, but did not sound particularly different from what I am used to. For now, I am considering the Corvids I saw to be American Crows.
Most of you know my feelings about this administration, so I won't restate them here. I did however, want to make sure you all heard this week's news regarding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The administration has cleared the way for drilling in a National Wildlife Refuge. One of many articles can be found at:
Time to get those pens and pencils out again... Let the politicians know you care about the environment. As several people observed, if the oil is ten years from being used, wouldn't it serve our purpose better to use the money and time to develope new eco-friendly energy sources, and ween ourselves from an oil dependence?