Friday, June 30, 2006


On the outskirts of Sequim, as I headed back to base, I noticed a Wildbirds Unlimited store as I sped past and quickly made a U-turn. I had been searching for a birdsong CD for the West coast all week. Surely, they had to stock one.

Found a Stokes version and grabbed it and decided to add a hanging platform feeder to the order as a souvenir. I asked about any bird sightings and noticed a feeder hanging just outside the back window. Siskins were there earlier, I was told, but things had quieted down as night drew closer.

I paid for my items and I almost drove away. Then I changed my mind and decided to look around back. Grabbing the camera, I jumped back out of the car and walked around to the side of the store. There was a lot of bird activity at that same feeder now.

There was a small light brown bird that I thought might be my missing Siskin. Later, after consulting more local birders, I have to conclude it must have been just another female House Finch. Oh, well.

Several Sparrows and a Spotted Towhee joined in to feed and then they were joined by many birds I had seen pictures of and knew immediately. Dark-eyed Juncos! Cool. No Siskin but Life birds just the same. They moved around to the other side of the building and I followed.

I discovered that there are 5 different divisions of Juncos and these were of the "Oregon" group.

Oregon Junco

I hadn't even noticed this side of the building when I drove up. It was a show area for the store's feeders, fountains and such. Birdy Heaven! Fox and Song Sparrows flew about and sang and the Juncos stopped by in waves. It was nice of them to pause every now and again so I could get a more natural background.

Oregon Junco

The sun had sunk behind the ridge across the road and lighting was not great, again, but I wasn't complaining since I was surrounded by small birds that were stopping within feet of me. Sometimes feeding, sometimes just hopping around and then flying back toward the bushes.

Most of the birds looked like the ones posted above. There was one, however, that looked a lot different in color. My mind tried to make it a "Pink-sided" version. Every book seemed to suggest it, too. I later got an email from a contact from a man who bands a lot of Juncos and he reported that is was just a variant of the "Oregons".

Oregon Junco

It was a fun way to end a long day in the area. There are still 3 or 4 other spots I would love to explore right in and around Sequim the next time we venture out there.

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