[Tweeters] Most unusual find near the ponds on Eide Road, Stanwood

william boyington wrboyington at msn.com
Fri Aug 23 21:25:00 PDT 2013

Hello Tweeters,

With my scope sent off for repair, I resisted the temptation to head for the coast anyway, and drove up to Stanwood this morning to check out the ponds on Eide Road. I guess the tide was in and influencing water levels in the ponds, as there was no exposed mud. A dozen dowitchers did fly in while I was there to wade in the shallow water of the larger pond.

A birding couple preceded me there, the Stoners. I've regretfully forgotten their first names already, but I think Ron and Sandy. If not, I apologize. As I was heading back to the road, I saw them looking intently at something in the grass, right near the large clump of vegetation with tree that guards the path to the first pond. When I got there, they pointed out the bird sitting quietly in the grass with head, throat and part of back quite visible, this from only 30-35 feet away. It was clearly a game bird, and Mrs. Stoner identified it from her birding app as a CHUKAR, which is a bird I have fruitlessly looked for east of the mountains in recent years. It did eventually stand up and showed its striped flank before disappearing into the thick vegetation.

I'm certainly happy to have seen this life bird, but have been wondering ever since how rare a sighting this would be, for not only the Stanwood area, but for anywhere on the west side? Odd to see my first one there. It's kind of like the Burrowing Owl in Renton a few years ago, though I had seen them before (and since) in their proper habitats.

I wonder if it was transported there, or released locally.

Good birding,

Bill Boyington
Shoreline, WA

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