Vashon Bird News!

and our Sightings Lists:

[Our Bird Feeders!]

(I've got to get a new picture: we've now got three tube feeders for Deb's Premium, one thistle tube, and two suet blocks, and the hanging corn...

NEW! Friday, December 22, 2000 - and a year ago - kinda..

Well, time still flies..


  • Well, the really big news is that we seem to have two hummers wintering over!

    Probably Anna's, a female and a male. Bigger physically than the Rufous hummers we have during the summer, and with *long* primaries; the male scarlet red from the back of his head down his throat and out the side of his neck; scarlet red auriculars (ear patches) standing out distictively at certain angles; female green back, gray breast, a patch at her throat that's red at certain angles..

    Been here for six weeks that I'm certain of; I'm keeping the feeder fresh...

At February 20, 2001: they're still here!

And always the usual lot:

  • Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees
  • Red-breasted Nuthatches
  • Spotted (Rufous) Towhees
  • Oregon Juncos
  • Fox Sparrows
  • Steller's Jays at the hanging corn..
  • A Red-shafted Flicker that comes to the suet several times a day
  • Band-tailed Pigeons feeding on the deck, now that I've taken the plates off the hanging feeders so the Band-tails can't perch on them and eat non-stop as they used to...
  • House Finches, and Pine Siskins in for the thistle

  • And maybe three or four squirrels in for sunflower seeds off the deck, and for the hanging corn
  • And anywhere from one to four raccoons every night, for sunflower seeds and corn..
  • And once only so far, in early December, three baby raccoons about the size of soccer balls!

The female..

..and the male.

The bird report has been pretty consistent for a long time, which is why I haven't done an update since May (!)...

The Juncos showed up in the fall, down from the top of the Island, just as they always do, and at that time most of the sparrows (Gold-crowned, White-crowned..) went away. The Fox sparrows are year-round..

We had very few American Goldfinches this year, relatively, but billions (I'm *not* exagerating!) of Pine Siskins most of the summer and on into the fall.

The Barn swallows had two batches of babies and left rather early; the hummers (Rufous and Allens..) seemed to leave early -- one day they were here, and it seemed the next they were gone..

A Red-shafted Flicker settled in as a permanent (although skittish..) daily vistor to one of the suet blocks..

The Steller's jays were present in raucous hordes: sometimes five or six at a time, attacking the corn, mainly, and attacking the suet, and just generally being noisy and obtrusive!

And we saw Chipper the Townsend's chipmunk several times this last summer..

Sunday, May 07, 2000 - and a year ago

Sunday, August 15, 1999 - and a year ago

Gotta do an update about our menagerie! These are our current "wild" pets:

  • Momma Raccoon and up to five babies at one time, at night! The babies are still about the size of soccer balls!
  • Up to four Red Squirrels at one time, during the day..
  • and just now, for the first time, two! I always thought there had to be more than one, but I've never seen more than one until today! They are just too cute!

  • got a big fat rat yesterday, under the feeders, with the BB gun...

Monday, August 09, 1999 - and a year ago

Whew! Time flies!

  • OK: The Barn Swallows have hatched and fledged one clutch, and seem to be sitting a second in the garage!
  • The hummers have been gone for -- what? -- three weeks? four weeks? They left even earlier than last year...
  • Maybe six or seven juvenile Black-headed Grosbeaks at the feeders and on the deck for sunflower seeds
  • and their folks! Lots of Black-headed Grosbeaks this year!
  • and maybe three juvenile Spotted (Rufous) Towhees
  • and their folks!
  • and Fox Sparrow juvies and parents
  • and lots and lots of juvenile Steller's Jays! They are too funny! All raucous and vocal!
  • and House Finches
  • and American Goldfinches at the thistle and for sunflower seeds
  • and Pine Siskins returning to the thistle, after having been gone for several months

  • Heard the first Bonaparte's Gulls out on the Sound -- a sure first sign of approaching fall..
  • and hearing Kingfishers frequently, but haven't yet got a good ID on one..
  • and of course, the squirrels!
  • and little Chipper the Townsend's Chipmunk is here often, daily!
  • and momma Raccoon nightly (once now she's brought two kids -- they're about the size of a soccer ball!

  • and damned Starlings at the suet..
  • Brown-headed Cowbirds are gone. (I got real militant this year: bought a BB gun -- don't ask...)

Saturday, May 15, 1999 - and a year ago

Sunday, April 18, 1999 - and a year ago
Well, two-and-a-half months later...

Super Bowl Sunday, January 31, 1999 - and a year ago
Well, four months later...

Saturday, September 20, 1998 - and a year ago
Well, three months later...

Saturday, June 20, 1998 - and a year ago

Sunday, June 07, 1998 - and a year ago

Tuesday, May 12, 1998 - and a year ago

Sunday, May 03, 1998 - and a year ago

Sunday, April 26, 1998 - and a year ago

Sunday, April 12, 1998 - and a year ago

  • The Oregon Juncos are gone up to the top of the Island for the summer..
  • Suddenly, very few English (House) Sparrows!
  • and suddenly, more House Finches!
  • a Fox Sparrow with only one leg..
  • haven't seen any hummers at the feeder this weekend..
  • no Black Brants yet (..and too damn many jet-skiers roaring by almost every weekend! They'll frighten off the Brants for sure if they arrive..)
  • Steller's Jays and Red-breasted Nuthatches and Chestnut-backed Chickadees at the suet!
  • no Brown-headed Cowbirds yet..
  • and little Chipper is back!


Friday, April 03, 1998 - and a year ago

Saturday, March 14, 1998 - and a year ago

Saturday, March 07, 1998

WHEW! Time flies, what with basketball and birthdays and all... But not a lot has really changed as we slowly slide into spring:

  • Still have Oregon Juncos: they'll move back up to the top of the Island by the end of the month and be gone for the summer, just as the hummers start to re-appear (or should re-appear..)
  • Lots and lots of English Sparrows, and fewer House Finches
  • Fox Sparrows, Chickadees, Kinglets
  • Steller's Jays in raucous abundance
  • Rufous-sided Towhees, more common out under the brush than at the feeders
  • Band-tailed Pigeons very common - often cleaning out their one favorite feeder in a day..
  • And that's about it..
  • except for the squirrels at the corn by day, and the raccoons at the corn by night!

Saturday, January 17, 1998

Thursday, December 25, 1997

Saturday, December 13, 1997

Saturday, November 15, 1997

Sunday, October 12, 1997

Saturday, October 4, 1997

'Way Cool!

Three Orcas travel by, headed south..

One large male about halfway across the Sound, and two females (one a juvenile?) much closer to the Vashon side!

Friday, September 20, 1997

Wednesday, August 27, 1997

Saturday, August 23, 1997

Whew! Time Flies..

August 10, 1997

Sunday, July 6, 1997

Sunday, June 22, 1997

Monday, June 16, 1997

Sunday, June 8, 1997

Wednesday, June 4, 1997

On a lunch-time walk in the Green River Riparian Belt, in Renton, Washington, saw a new bird for my life list:

a Common Yellowthroat!

A very striking warbler-like bird: very yellow throat and breast, olive-gray back and tail; and a wide black mask across the face. Its call is something like a goldfinch's...

Saturday, May 24, 1997

Friday, May 23, 1997

Saturday, May 10, 1997:

Saturday, May 3, 1997:

Sunday, April 27, 1997:

Friday, April 25, 1997:

Wednesday, April 23, 1997:

Sunday, April 20, 1997:

Saturday, April 12, 1997:

Saturday, April 05, 1997:

Saturday, March 29, 1997:

Saturday, March 22, 1997:

Ongoing sightings:

Sea Birds:

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Seen Often:
Common Goldeneyes Surf Scoters
Western Grebes Common Loons
Great Blue Herons Cormorants
Red-Breasted Mergansers Belted Kingfishers
Less Often:
Black Scoters Buffleheads
Harlequin Ducks American Widgeons
Bonaparte's Gulls Brants
Greater Scaups Barrow's Goldeneyes

Land Birds:

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NEW!The Oregon Juncos are gone!

(They go up to the top of the Island for the summer..)

Seen Always:
Fox Sparrows House Finches
Rufous-sided (Spotted) Towhees Steller's Jays
Chestnut-backed Chickadees Black-capped Chickadees
Bewick's Wrens Pine Siskins
Various Vireos Kinglets
Band-tailed Pigeons Bald Eagles
really big Crows Robins (well, duh..)
Red-breasted Nuthatches Red-shafted Flickers
Varied Thrushes Downy Woodpeckers
Seen Less Often:
Ring-necked Pheasants Cedar Waxwings
California Quail Great Horned Owls
other owls Pileated Woodpeckers

Most of our summer guests are back..

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Barn Swallows!
Violet-green Swallows!
American Goldfinches! (Actually, they are kinda common year-round!)
Anna's and Rufous Hummers!


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Peafowl! (or one pea-hen, for a couple days...
Lazuli bunting (seen once, one winter..)
Rufous Hummers in mid-winter, every coupla years!
Winter 2000: Anna's hummingbirds winter over!


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Starlings at the suet..
Brown-headed cowbirds present a moral dilemma: do I let the feeders go empty until they're gone -- which will be for months -- or buy a pellet gun?

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copyright John D Sage/FinchHaven
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

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Last modified: Thu Aug 23 09:28:32 2007


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