Subject: [Tweeters] Skagit Indigo, C's Finch, Calliope
Date: Jul 12 22:30:48 2009
From: Gary Bletsch - garybletsch at

Dear Tweeters,

Howard Armstrong and I made a tardy try for the Corkindale Indigo Bunting today. As we were walking in, Ryan Merrill was walking out. Ryan graciously offered to take us back and get us on the bird. It was singing immediately as we arrived, as it had done for Ryan a bit earlier. Easy!

Howard and I then headed upriver, where we saw almost zero birds at County Line Ponds. The wind made our redstart search hopeless, so we ventured up to the Hardy Burn gravel pit area.

There we watched at least 25 and probably more Evening Grosbeaks gravelling up. They concentrated on one particular gravel pile. Pine Siskins joined them. One of the siskins was later seen carrying nesting material.

As we watched the finches, in came a Cassin's Finch! It gravelled, too. It was a brown one, but had a well-streaked crissum.

We also saw at least one, and probably two Calliope Hummingbirds. The hummer(s) would perch on one particular small tree, right near the gravel pile where the finces were. This leafless tree is on the inside of the curve that one makes, if one enters the burn on the access road, then bears left. We identified the hummer on the basis of the very short tail; the long wings reached to the tail tip. The bill was also short-looking.

Rain soon drove us downriver again, but it was a very good morning, what with three rare species in just a couple of hours of looking.

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch ? Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA ? garybletsch at ? ?