[Tweeters] Bluetail, Brambling etc. on 22nd

B&PBell bellasoc at isomedia.com
Tue Jan 22 19:23:06 PST 2013

Hi Tweets

Three of us went up to B.C. today. We arrived at Queens Park in New Westminster about 8:45 and took a bit to find the area where the Red-flanked Bluetail was hanging out - all we need to do was look for the birders/photographers. The bird showed up in an area north of the kiddie playfield and just outside the picnic area after about 15 minutes (it had been seen earlier and had done one of its route changes). We watched it for about 15-20 minutes as it moved about the area, with two exceptions, never staying in one spot for very long. We got very nice scoop views, and some of the big lens photographers got some nice photos. Everyone was respectful of the bird and kept their distance.

We next moved on to Vancouver to the Brambling on W. 17th Ave just east of Laurel, at 868 W. 17th. Lots of House Finches and House Sparrows in the shrub jumble near the feeder. After a few minutes the Brambling showed up, moved around in the jumble eventually giving us some reasonably decent looks. While we were there it never went near the feeder.

On down to Boundary Bay and looks at distant (about 15) Snowy Owls - very different from last year when they were right up near the dike. Some Northern Harriers around, but no Short-eared Owls. We saw at least 55 Bald Eagles in the Boundary Bay area.

At the fishing pier in Blaine, there were a couple of Common Loons, some Surf Scoters, 5 distant Long-tailed Ducks, and 2 very close Eared Grebes.

As we passed thru Edison, the resident Merlin flew in and perched in a conifer. As we progressed toward the West 90 we saw about 15 Bald Eagles, and at the Cottenwood clump there were another 29 Bald Eagles. At the West 90 there were more Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, Rough-legged Hawks (including one dark morph), a ton of Northern Harriers, and at least 15 Short-eared Owls (including one perched on a snag near the trail). Things were hopping!

Padilla Bay had many, many American Wigeon and Northern Pintail.

We cruised Fir Island in late afternoon and saw more Bald Eagles, a few Northern Harriers, the large field of Snow Geese on Dry Slough Rd, but no Gyrfalcon. As we moved south on Dry Slough Rd. we did see a nice Peregrine Falcon.

We estimated that we saw about 150 Bald Eagles in both B.C. and the Samish/Skagit.

It was a great day (a bit foggy going up this morning, but nicely clear the rest of the day), with good friends and great birds!

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA
mail to bell asoc at iso media dot com

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