Lake Sammamish State Park Walk (June 26, 2012) Highlights
Nineteen intrepid birders sloshed together in the drizzle and mud this morning at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, WA on a monthly bird walk offered by Eastside Audubon. It was a cloudy, drippy morning, temps in the low to mid 50's, with winds about 5 mph.
Highlights included seeing a Common Merganser female fly through the trees and land high up on a large Cottonwood branch, then 3 more in with the Canada Geese at the lake's edge, then later, we later saw another female with 4 young nestled underneath her on a large log near the mouth of Issaquah Creek (soon they all woke up, stretched, preened and all 5 scurried out towards the lake). Some of us saw a GREEN HERON catching a fish in the small pond to the south in the large parking lot on the left of the main entrance (exactly where Amy Schillinger suggested Blair look for it). While enjoying the behavior of 3 SPOTTED SANDPIPERS feeding along the edge of the point at the mouth of Issaquah Creek, we watched an American Crow disappear at the base of a small tree near the water, fly out with a small, whitish egg in its bill, all the while with the alarmed Sandpipers trying in vain to draw it away from the nest. Three BLACK SWIFTS foraged low overhead, along with a couple of Vaux's Swifts. The RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER parents continue to feed their young in the tree snag nest discovered about two weeks ago (on the south edge of the Sunset Beach parking lot). The Band-Tailed Pigeon nest nearby appeared to be empty. One (maybe two?) RED-EYED VIREO was heard singing, along with several Warbling Vireos in the large Cottonwood forest at the south end. We also heard a couple of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS singing near the same forest. In two areas, we could hear and then got great looks at several BULLOCK'S ORIOLES but could not locate their nests. 54 species were seen/heard for the day, with a total of 110 for the year.