[Tweeters] Some Everett Area Birds

jeff gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Mon Mar 4 08:49:12 PST 2013

This past week I was toodling back and forth on the River Road between Everett and Snohomish and saw some interesting birds.

Coming back into Everett on 2/28 I saw a big beautiful Rough-legged Hawk at the ponds just outside the city limits. Either an imm. or a female (going by Sibley)- a striking ' light morph' bird. Behind it, across the river, a pair of Bald Eagle's were at a nest in a tall Cottonwood at the entrance to Ebey Slough. Quite a few immature eagles around the road all week.

March 1st I was driving down the road at dusk, when a Short-eared Owl flew right in front of my truck. Although I've been a regular on this road for 15 years I'd never seen any owls as I'm usually driving in broad daylight.

March 2nd I was parked briefly at the River Rd ponds watching ducks, and then the weather, which was windy and changing rapidly. Sitting in my truck, I heard some geese calling, and thinking ' Snow Geese', got out to find a big flock of Cackling Geese flying by, about 200 of them in staggered V's. They do have a distinctively different call which, en masse at least, doesn't sound too cackling to me. I think the name Dwarf Honker might be better. They are pretty diminutive for a goose. With their faster wingbeats and smaller size they came off more like a flock of dark Mallards than anything. A bit later two more flocks of 100+ came by, the last a very dense ball (looking more like a flock of Crows) descended on the South end of Ebey Island. I've only seen a very few Cackling Geese in the area before, so seeing 400 was pretty cool. They were all flying in from the NW.

Yesterday, 3/3 I saw a Peregrine perched along the road, along with many Red-tail Hawks which seem even more abundant than usual lately. On the way home I saw another Rough-legged Hawk, a different bird than earlier in the week- it had a dark patch on its face- a male?

Stopping briefly at Everett's Rotary Park in the late afternoon sunlight I could hear a vast number of Pacific Chorus Frogs (aka treefrogs) croaking it up in the near distance. Slowly the croaking headed my way, until I could pick out individual croaks. Then for whatever froggy reasons they all went silent. I must seek out that great experience of being in the middle of a big loud frog chorus this spring -' surround- sound' at it's finest.

Jeff Gibson
Everett Wa

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