[birding] Coffin Butte & Toketie Marsh yesterday

Joel Geier jgeier at attglobal.net
Fri Jul 7 11:43:32 PDT 2006

Hello folks,

I was up on Coffin Butte last evening, mainly checking on the wildflower 
situation, and again this morning when Ray Fiori and I were doing some 
weed control on the invasives.

We ran across Rich Armstrong on the way down so he might have a more 
complete list, but anyway there seem to be decent numbers of Lazuli 
Buntings on the lower slopes, Western Wood-Pewees and other typical 
summer birds. I heard a Cassin's Vireo around the water feature on top, 
and heard a Hutton's Vireo lower down (near some madrones in the old 
quarries). A Western Tanager also sounded off a few times.

I haven't been out much lately so I was caught off-guard by all the 
juvenile birds in their unfamiliar plumages. There was a nice big family 
of Black-capped Chickadees up by the guzzler, and some teenage Song 
Sparrows hanging out near a Bewick's Wren family near the seep in the 
upper quarry.  Black-headed Grosbeak juveniles also seem to be out and 
about now.

At Toketie Marsh last evening I pulled in to scan the upper pond. The 
surprise was a tired-looking Western Sandpiper hanging out with the 
Killdeer family, in the rocky parking lot just outside the gate to the 
landfill. It was still on hanging out on the rocky parking lot after I 
went home and brought a couple of kids. It stretched and preened a few 
times, then eventually wandered over toward the pond. It was in a funky 
sort of plumage, breeding-going-on-postbreeding adult plumage I think.

At our house across from E.E. Wilson, the Willow Flycatchers, Lazuli 
Buntings, Wrentits, and Yellow-breasted Chats are still around (Chris, 
if you're still looking for one you could stop by our place some morning 
and listen since they are still "singing" regularly), along with Western 
Tanagers raiding the cherry trees.

Looks like we did not get a return of the Western Kingbirds at our place 
this year. Has anyone been seeing them in Benton Co.?

Happy birding,

Joel Geier
jgeier at attglobal.net

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