Dawn Chorus on May 14th at Woods Lake

Dawn Chorus on May 14th in WA DNR lands opposite the old Wolf Camp property on Woods Lake, a tributary of the Sultan River in Snohomish County.

9:00 PM Last Night. Made hot coffee for thermos. Set alarm for Nautical Twilight. Reviewed blog posts including Identify Birds Quickly by Sight, Sound & Behavior using Bird Feeders, Field Guides & Apps and Why Birds Sing & What Birds Say – Their Languages, Voices & Vocalizations.

4:00 AM Rooster alarm goes off. Note to self: Have rooster for dinner. Put on many warm layers of clothes. Drink coffee from hot thermos. Bring super salty buttery bread to stimulate internal digestion warmth. Bring ten essentials and foam pad to sit/lean on. Fox walk to lake.


4:20 AM Song Sparrow sings once.
4:22 AM One Tree Sparrow begins singing in flight over lake.
4:29 AM Robin on north side of lake does wake-up whinny.
4:30 AM Song Sparrow sings once.
0431 Robin on north side of lake begins singing.
4:32 AM Second closer Robin does wake-up whinny. More Tree Sparrows begin singing in flight.
4:33 AM More Robins wake. Second robin begins singing, then a third …
4:34 AM Song Sparrow sings twice.
4:38 AM Most Robins including those nearest us now singing all around lake.
4:39 Song Sparrow sings once.
4:41 AM Song Sparrow close to us sings continually.
4:42 AM Most Song Sparrows around lake, each with unique song.
4:43 AM Yellowthroat near us begins singing.
4:45 AM Forest Robins start singing. The dawn loudens. One robin on beach alarms us briefly. Swallows stop singing in flight.
4:50 AM Swallows start singing in flight again. This 5 min start/stop behavior continues.


4:53 AM Red Wing Blackbird sings about every 45 seconds.
4:56 AM Red Wing Blackbird sings about every 10 seconds.
4:57 AM Robin on beach alarms us briefly again.
5:02 AM Stellar Jay calls “sneak”.
5:03 AM Song Sparrows take a break near the lake, but forest sparrows still singing.
5:04 AM Robins around the lake cease singing. Forest Robins still at it.
5:07 AM Song Sparrows around land start back up.
5:08 Rooster crows continually for a little while.
5:10 Spotted Towhee singing.
5:11 AM Unidentified Sparrow seen singing very near us. Back home we can’t pinpoint its song on the bird book or Cornell Lab of Ornithology bird song website, but it was clearly a sparrow beak, tail, coloration, size a bit small, but markings were like a female’s or juvenile’s, yet it was singing and singing near us, never noticed back in the day, so maybe a new bird establishing territory.
5:13 AM Crow calls. Ruffed Grouse begins drumming every 3 minutes or so.
5:14 AM Pacific Wrens singing. Maybe earlier but couldn’t be heard down at the bog since they are up in the forests.
5:17 AM Waning sliver moon appears out from behind the mists.
5:18 AM Varied Thrushes singing in forests all around.
5:20 AM Train goes by 6.5 miles away as the crow flies down along Hwy. 2. We walk up into to forest.


5:36 AM Canada Geese call.
5:38 AM Unknown buzzer up in trees calling.
5:39 AM Unspecified duck calls from down in the lake. Swainson’s Thrush water-droplet call note heard. First time this year! Must have flown in over night. Btw: Black-Headed Grosbeaks arrived at feeder two days ago, and Goldfinches one week ago. Cowbird last Wednesday.
5:40 AM Pacific Slope Flycatcher wakes up.
5:42 AM Swainson’s Thrushes give alarm calls for quite some time. No singing today.
5:44 AM Chickaree Douglas Red Squirrel has interaction with a Stellar’s Jay.
5:57 AM Pacific Slope Flycatcher sings, doing pip (pause) upslope whistle, rather than the dog-whistle like during middle of the day.
 Walked up to clearcut.
6:10 AM Rufus Hummingbirds buzzing around, though probably lots earlier up here.
6:15 AM Raven flies high overhead doing low gurgle call while flock of 10 crows fly up to evergreens nearby.
6:28 AM Chickadee (probably chestnut-backed though we normally only hear/see black-capped around here) sings, then when we start walking back, starts doing classic chick-a-dee-dee-dee.

HEY MORNING PEOPLE: Set your alarm for 4:00 AM or whenever your Nautical Twilight where you are this Sunday, May 20th. We’ll be at Clark’s Creek Park in Puyallup, WA. Find a place with a mix of forest, field and waterway (such as a riparian zone, without loud flowing water) and comment below what you hear and what times. We’ll do the same if we can. We’re not morning people, but we are obviously bird lovers.

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