[Tweeters] Upper Skagit rafting birds 8/11, new yard bird 8/10

Scott Atkinson scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 12 07:37:32 PDT 2013


Took a different tack to birding central Skagit County yesterday and took the family on a rafting trip down the upper Skagit River.
We were with Alpine Adventures and launched at Goodell Creek campground, inside Whatcom County. Most of the 3.5-hour trip was, however, in Skagit County; the route concluded opposite Copper Creek, at the NP 213 road access. This stretch has some Class III rapids and is really fun if one likes this sort of activity. Birds seen or heard while in the raft:

Com. Merganser 1
Osprey 3
Turkey Vulture 3
Spotted Sandpiper 9
Vaux's Swift 7
Black Swift 1
Hammond's Flycatcher 1
Steller's Jay 2
Pacific Wren 2
Am. Dipper 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Warbling Vireo 2

So, just 13 species, but an interesting group. The bluebird was heard-only but well from a tall group of conifers, singing the "few, few fawee" traditional steadily enough that others also heard it. It was off the east side of the river, along a flat section, very close to the Damnation Creek spillway into the Skagit. It was just my second for the county, the first being a bird up Gunderson Hill Rd east of Mt. Vernon many years ago, also a single summer bird. I had a brief stop at Corkindale, but time being short and the time being mid-afternoon, nothing out of the ordinary was present. About the only reportable bird was a female BULLOCK'S ORIOLE, given that this species disappears by month's end, in a pretty sizable group of regular breeders right close to Hwy 20.

At our home in Lake Stevens Saturday, I was real surprised to run into a W. SCRUB-JAY, another heard-only. A neighbor has recently cleared right up to the border and the bird was in some thickets there. Alas, we were running out the door to an event and there was
no opportunity to go view the bird; but it vocalized three times, clearly. In all, between rafting and birds seen or heard south to Lake Stevens, about 40 bird species were found for the weekend.

Scott Atkinson
Lake Stevens
mail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com

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