[Tweeters] Clash of the titans

Rob Sandelin nwnature1 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 14 22:25:44 PDT 2013


Hiked up the Smith Brook trail today (US 2 just east of Stevens Pass) under
sunny skies. While clambering over one of the many fallen tree tangles there
was a loud ruckus nearby of screeching. I moved toward the sound and then
saw a dark shape zipping at high speed and then diving at another dark
shape. Oh yeah, I remembered I had binoculars around my neck and the two
shapes turned into a Goshawk and a great horned owl. It was clear the hawk
did not want the owl in the neighborhood and it made a couple passes as I
watched, talons out and causing the owl first to duck, then to pivot and
fly. As they flew down the hill the hawk appeared to hit the owl and then
they were gone. The screeching of the hawk continued to be heard for another
couple minutes. By this time the mosquitoes compelled me to move along. As I
arrived at Lake Valhalla I was startled by an Osprey crashing into the lake
not far from shore. Later, on the return hike I again was startled, this
time by a Grouse that waited until I almost stepped on it before shooting up
in front me. I figured nature was testing to see how strong my heart was. If
the hike doesn't kill me, the damn birds might.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, Teacher
Snohomish County




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