August 17 – Warblers, Sparrow, Rain, and SNOW

The first snow of the season (“termination dust”) is just newly arrived on the mountain peaks as viewed out our window this morning, and hasn’t come down to our level – so far. Down here it’s been raining much of the time.

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In between rains, I have birded some away from home, but mostly at home. At Campbell Creek Estuary Natural Area a couple of days ago, there were representatives of most expected warbler and sparrow species – Wilson’s, Orange-crowned, Yellow, Yellow-rumped Warblers (see if you can guess which 3 are in the photos), and White-crowned, Lincoln’s and Fox Sparrows.

At our house we have a single immature White-crowned Sparrow that’s been hanging around and this morning, a first-for-the-yard Fox Sparrow. Not photographed was a first-for-the-yard Pacific Wren scolding and lightly singing this morning, but completely invisible in our thicket of fireweeds.

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Steller’s Jays are also around most of the time, up to five at any one time, but it is unclear whether there are multiple flocks or shifting numbers of the same flock. There’s one scruffy adult that is very tame and if present it immediately flies to peanuts in my hand. Usually they take the unshelled peanuts, fly off and quickly bury them out in the yard, but sometimes they pause on the porch and crack open the shell, stuff their gullets with shelled peanuts and then take the nuts away, probably to bury most of them too.

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