[midvalleybirds] Logsdon Ridge

Carma Sue Henry cshenry at bywordofmind.com
Thu Sep 12 17:22:27 PDT 2019

About 20-25 Cedar Waxwings were hawking insects from the tops of the stand of dead Doug fir last evening.  First time we've seen them this year.  Juncos are coming back.  In the last few days several House Finches have started coming in to the sunflower seed feeders - much to the annoyance of the resident Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches.  Watched a White-breasted fluff it's feathers and flap it's wings a one before resorting to a beak poke.  House Finches squabble amongst themselves so much they probably aren't too intimidated by a Nuthatch.Flocks of both American and Lesser Golfinches are thinning out, but still abundant.  We saw some begging/wing flutter activity mid-August but didn't know if it was unusual to have such a late brood as the Goldfinches in Seattle were very transient - didn't get a chance to do much observation.More Song Sparrows are coming in - we've had several show up recently with no (very cute - makes them look like tiny Kiwis) or very few tail feathers, yet able to maneuver very well without them.  Now they're all grown back in.  Seems to take about two weeks.  Saw fully tail-less SSp's last year as well.  I've only seen one other fully tail-less bird before (a Stellar's Jay in Seattle) and I don't know if this is common during a molt, or more of a Song Sparrow thing.  No Golden-crowned, White-crowned or White-throated Sparrows yet - all are abundant in winter.  I've been watching for Vesper Sparrows but haven't identified any yet.Black-headed Grosbeaks have been absent for about a week.  Evening Grosbeaks, which were infrequent in spring, have been fully absent since end of July.Acorn Woodpecker activity at the feeders has become very infrequent but they are working the oaks and doing a bit of insect hawking.For those who followed the injured Hairy Woodpecker story, I'm sad report that he has not been seen for over a week.  At last sighting he was eating the suet we'd put back into the depths of the Spruce tree for him and getting around quite well by foot; starting to try his wings. If there was'nt rain, we kept some of the branches sprayed and drippy so he'd have water. Both parents stayed nearby.  We haven't 'seen' any raccoons or coyotes in the yard; however Cooper's Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, a Merlin and Great-horned Owls are all active here.  We do have several skunks who can barely climb up the patio steps so it doesn't seem like they'd be able to go after even an injured bird in a tree.  I haven't seen any feathers.  Did hear a major ruckus last Sunday very early AM, when a hawk took something out of the Spruce, but didn't have my glasses on.  It seemed pretty large and heavy, so I think it was a squirrel. Having it happen so close to where the injured Hairy was sheltering doesn't bode well.  Both parents are still frequent visitors.

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