Date: 4/7/21 10:32 am From: Steve Hampton <stevechampton...> Subject: [Tweeters] migration and spring in Port Townsend
A few signs of migration and spring are underway here in Port Townsend. At Point Wilson, RHINOCEROS AUKLETS (hundreds to thousands; scope needed) in breeding plumage are usually present, either in the water or flying past. MARBLED MURRELETS (dozens) likewise, with most of them just now coming into breeding plumage. COMMON MURRES are limited to a small fraction of the RHAU, and all in basic plumage.
The only grebes I've encountered are RED-NECKED (including an impressive scattered raft of 170 last week) and HORNED (nearly all in breeding plumage). Echoing an earlier caution on identification, of hundreds of Horned Grebes I've seen in the area the last few weeks, I've yet to see any I would call an Eared; they are quite scarce now. Last week there was a raft of 50 WESTERN GREBES off Cape George. There have been few loons, mostly COMMON LOON.
Around the Pt Wilson lighthouse, a KILLDEER is on eggs. Other birders have reported WHIMBREL, CHIPPING SPARROW, and CALIF QUAIL from the Point in the last week.
In town, "AUDUBON'S" YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS, and a few TREE SWALLOWS arrived a week or so ago, with the warblers singing quite a bit. No Barn Swallows yet; I saw one early CLIFF SWALLOW south of town at the end of March. As of yesterday, ORANGE-CR WARBLERS seemed to arrive in numbers, with several in song this morning around town despite the drizzle. (pic of one at my backyard pond here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S84958849 ).
Pugetensis WHITE-CR SPARROWS are in song everywhere, even from chimneys. SAVANNAH SPARROWS started singing yesterday from every open field. RUFOUS HUMMERS arrived a couple weeks ago and are pretty regular in open suburban contexts.
RED CROSSBILLS are quite limited now, I think only Type 3 around Fort Warden; Type 4's seem to be more prevalent at Fort Flagler. PINE SISKINS are thinning out and PURPLE FINCHES have really thinned out, at least in town.
Finally, my yard has been blessed with two apparent fuliginosa SOOTY FOX SPARROWS this winter; at least one is still present. Pics contrasting it with a paler, grayer northern Sooty are here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S84958849. I suspect fuliginosa is quite rare away from the outer coast, even in winter.