This week’s photo, taken March 10, 2013 at Union Bay Natural Area (Montlake Fill) in Seattle, WA, features one of many RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS seen that morning.
Laura and I get our fill of birds at the “Fill” on Sunday. Although we only spend an hour at the Montlake Fill, in that brief time we tally a total of 30 species, and we accumulate impressive numbers of several of those species. At least 20 COMMON MERGANSERS bob together out on the bay, while 15 or more NORTHERN SHOVELERS relax on one of the smaller ponds. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS show up just about everywhere; they frequently fly over our heads, and as we walk the paths, we often find them clinging to small branches of nearby trees and shrubs. Behaving more like a team, a dozen AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES stick together as they travel from tree to tree in a tight flock. In the reeds by the shoreline, several MARSH WRENS broadcast their machine gun-sounding song, and occasionally one of them jumps out into the open and rewards us with a nice view. Although several VIRGINIA RAILS repeatedly emit their accelerating pig-like grunts from deep in the reeds, not once do they reveal themselves to us or to several other bird-watchers who are hoping for a glimpse of that secretive bird.