[Tweeters] Stanwood Prairie Falcon - NO, Larsen Lake Hoary Redpoll - uhhhh, maybe?

Josh Adams xjoshx at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 13:35:01 PST 2013

Hello Tweets,
I hadn't seen any reports one way or another on the Prairie Falcon in
Stanwood from yesterday so I thought I'd report that I spent several
hours canvassing the Stanwood area without locating the bird. The
afternoon started out very foggy, which never helps, but it eventually
burned off. I hit Thomle, Eide, Boe, and Norman roads, and while there
was plenty of raptor activity (Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, American
Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Rough-Legged Hawk, and Red-Tailed Hawk),
there were no Prairie Falcons to be found. I talked to a few other
birders, but heard no positive reports from that day.

The highlight of the day was when I was walking under an overpass in
order to obtain a viewpoint of another side of the road. I noticed
what I thought was a small vole walk across my path, but upon
investigating it turned out to be a pellet. In fact, there were dozens
of pellets around in sizes from big to small and upon looking up I
discovered a the back feathers of a Barn Owl poking out from the
concrete above me. I've almost been pooped on by many birds before,
but never almost pelleted upon.

On my way home I made my third try for the Rusty Blackbird and finally
found a good candidate. Fortunately the birder next to me turned out
to be Dennis Paulson who was able to confirm the ID by photo later in
the evening.

This morning I took an early lunch and tried to find the slightly
different colored hay in the haystack near Larsen Lake in Bellevue. As
Richard reported earlier, the Redpolls were alternating between the
trees near the Boys and Girls club and the ones at the NE end of the
park. After making an effort to find the Hoary by visual means, I
played a short recording of Hoary Repoll in hopes of getting a return
call. This technique has worked well with finding Redpolls mixed in
with other birds in the past. Immediately one bird exited the flock
and landed fifteen feet above the other birder's (Michael Fleming, I
believe) head. It was followed by two other Redpolls. Alas, my 10x
binoculars turned into a liability at this point and I was unable to
quickly get on the bird, but Michael got decent views and reported
that the first bird out seemed to lack undertail converts. The bird
returned to the flock before we could get better side views. I would
be curious to see any photos taken of the bird that was seen yesterday
so please post them if you have them.

Josh Adams
Lynnwood, WA

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