Other than the siskin not much of interest has been happening in the yard. One recent rainy day I took a million photos of my local hummingbirds because I didn't want to go outside. I learned that if one perched on my Japanese maple I could line it up with my neighbor's porch light to create a cool effect.
Edit: I'm adding this crazy junco that showed up in the yard yesterday (3/11). Before I had bins on it I turned it into a Rustic Bunting which was fun.
Back in January I discovered a Barn Owl in my 5MR and was bummed to learn it would flush at the slightest glance. I saw it once in February, and it flushed again. Finally, it is March and I snooped around in its territory once more. Amazingly I caught the bird dead asleep way up in a cedar.
I worked my way around to its front side and found a spot where I could sometimes see it. The branches around it blew in the wind and every once in awhile they blew just right and I could see the whole bird.
This time the bird did not flush, nor did it seem that concerned with me. Miracle.
On a pleasant and sunny dog walk last week I noticed a Cooper's Hawk perched in a tree, under attack by crows. I took a few quick photos and noticed it was sporting a leg band.
A couple months ago I saw a Cooper's Hawk on the bike path along Alderwood with a similar metal leg band, and in August of 2014 I photographed one in my yard with a band (photo in this blog post). These hawks were all within a couple miles (or less) of each other, which seems odd. A bad photo of the one from January:
Anyway. Yesterday was the first warm and mostly sunny day we have had in awhile and I was excited to get out birding. I began the day at Chinook Landing where a Spotted Towhee was singing its head off.
A Horned Grebe was swimming rather close to shore for once.
Some geese flew in to the flooded field south of the parking lot and I was psyched to notice a Greater White-fronted Goose in the mix. 5MR bird #98 for the year!
From Chinook Landing I went over to Blue Lake for some more sunny birding.
In the winter it's easy to forget that Yellow-rumped Warblers ever look good, that they could even dream of holding court with the likes of Magnolias and Yellow-throateds. Then one day you go birding in March and a fancy bird catches your eye, and it's a lowly Yellow-rumped but DA-AMN it's looking fine.
Lesser Goldfinches are starting to look fancy too:
On another recent outing to Blue Lake I was realized that there are California ground squirrels living there. This surprised me. The only other place I recall seeing them in my 5MR is at the Sea Scout Base.
That's about it for my 5MR lately. I am guessing my 100th bird will be a Tree Swallow but it would be way cooler if it was something else. But what?