[Tweeters] Kent, Auburn - Swans, Shrike

Carol & Lynn Schulz carol.schulz50 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 30 20:38:28 PST 2013

Hi Tweets:
After Martha Jordan put out a request for swan sightings (see below), I asked people to tell me where they were. I wanted to find swan roosting spots in ponds, and also find them foraging in the fields. I was told that swans have been seen flying out of the main lagoon at Kent Ponds. At 7:20am I stood in the south viewing tower at Kent Ponds and saw two adult Trumpeter Swans right in front of me on the water. Eventually, 18 adult Trumps were seen in the lagoon. Two swans flew out toward the south at 8:05, 14 flew out at 9:00, and two more flew out at 9:15. All were adults and all flew south.
A Northern Shrike flew by overhead calling its scratchy jeep call several times. I turned around in awhile after hearing some strange calls and possible song, and an adult NORTHERN SHRIKE was perched in the top of a small cedar tree at the entrance to the south viewing tower. Later it perched in various spots around the field near the south viewing tower.
A female Northern Harrier flew around the meadow, at one point doing a call that sounds like a small dog laughing. Several Red-tailed Hawks were in the area, including a small adult dark morph. Two adult Bald Eagles perched up on the power tower. They did their little whistles, and one called several times doing an eek call that goes up in tone.
I then headed south on Frager Road south. A Scrub Jay was at a usual spot near the site of the White River Bridge marker. A dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk was along the road. After going under the underpass, there is a ranch with Euras. Collared-Doves. 72 of them were perched in trees there. An adult Bald Eagle was perched in a tree just across the river. Still no swans. No swans at Smith Brothers. No swans down at M Street in front of Emerald Downs.
I drove back up to a huge field along East Valley highway (83rd Ave) that frequently has swans. There the swans were, at last. There were 27 swans. 25 adult TRUMPETER SWANS, and 2 adult TUNDRA SWANS. Very cool to get Tundra Swans in the Green River valley.
The big field is north of S 277th, north of the drive in theater. The swans were nibbling on green vegetation, and were about 0.3 miles north of 277th, and 0.1 miles south of the Green River bridge. They were very close to East Valley hwy, so I was able to view them from across the road at a distance of about 200 feet.
Despite drizzle and mist, it was a good morning of birding.
Yours, Carol Schulz
Des Moines

From: Martha Jordan
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2013 7:24 PM
To: Tweeters
Subject: [Tweeters] Swan count week

This week is the official WDFW swan count week. Whatcom and Skagit counties are done by WDFW staff a few volunteers. South Snohomish county and Snoqualmie Valley has been primarily done by myself. Other parts of King County such as Lake Washington (Juanita and other areas) have been done by WDFW. This year WDFW is down on staff and may not be able to participate for the Lake Washington and south into Pierce County. I am attempting to coordinate some type of survey effort for King and north Pierce counties.

What this means is: if you are out birding and observe swans, please keep detailed notes of date, time, exact location, trumpeter or tundra (if you know) and adult vs juveniles. Also note what habitat they are using: harvested corn, potatoes, pasture, wetland, etc.

Even a fragmented effort will yield important information as there are swans in the Auburn to Puyallup and more areas this year. Getting information on them is needed.

Please contact me off list if you are able to provide any assistance or you end up finding swans on your outings.


Martha Jordan

The Trumpeter Swan Society

Washington Swan Stewards-Chair

PMB 272

914 - 164th Street SE

Mill Creek, WA 98012


Cell 206-713-3684

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