[Tweeters] Thousands of snow geese at Shillapoo Wildlife Area (Clark County)

Susan R O'Hara susan at winesnw.com
Thu Jan 10 13:06:29 PST 2013

Hi Tweeters.

This is my first posting to the Tweeters Digest, so I'm hoping I haven't
overlooked some important content.

This past weekend was such an awe-inspiring birding experience, I just
had to post something. I spent several bird-filled hours at southern
unit of Shillapoo Wildlife Area - located within the floodplain of the
Columbia River in Clark County, adjacent to the west side of Vancouver
Lake. The day was cool and cloudy, but no rain. One of the biggest
thrills of the day was a hunter-flushed, huge flock of snow geese that
lifted up off nearby Sauvie Island... a swath filling probably 70
degrees of sky above the tree line to our west. Lots of noise, as a
huge flock - surely at least 2,000 individuals - made its way across the
Columbia River; within a few minutes, they were flying over me and a
friend heading toward Vancouver Lake and filling the sky with
black-tipped white wings and a cacophony of honks. What a thrill!

Also in numbers I've never seen before were flocks of red-winged black
birds periodically lifting up from fields of cut down corn stocks in
flocks of several hundred at a time.

Other fun sightings included:

* A dozen or so tundra swans flying together toward the north of the
area, lit up against a dark slate cloud bank on the horizon;
* A flock of about 50 sandhill cranes browsing through fields of cut
corn stalk;
* Four bald eagles;
* Three northern harriers;
* Two great egrets;
* Ducks including northern shoveler, ruddy duck, bufflehead, lesser
scaup, mallard

Early winter birding has gained a new place of respect with this birder.

Susan O'Hara
susan at winesnw.com
Vancouver, WA

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