[Tweeters] Stillasamish Birds from 3/9/13

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Wed Mar 13 05:45:48 PDT 2013

Took me some time to get through the sadness I felt from this trip, due to the lack of Short-eared Owls and from hearing of another find (@ West 90) of a pile of Shortear feathers. Remembering the wonderful abundance of them earlier in the season and missing seeing any of the courtship rituals that had brightened the past few winters, especially at West 90 in the Samish Flats, put a pall on this trip. I wasn't ready to do a report until I got beyond that sorrow, which appears to be now. Time and going through my photos to see other 'bright, smiling faces' (bird), perked me enough to do this post !

And, since there's a possible connection between the SEOW and LEOW (Long-eared Owl) deaths and disappearance, in general, and the presence of Snowy Owls (and Great Horned), in some of the places these smaller owls had frequented this winter, I also had to remind myself that "this is nature", and that I shouldn't think any less, and possibly more, of the Snowys I've been so excited about these past 2 winters. Visiting the one (Snowy Owl) in Ballard 2 days ago, rejuvenated my awe of them, especially in their adaptability to whatever prey they can find. A couple of you who saw the Ballard Owl 2 Sundays ago, after it had obviously had a 'full-meal deal' and had not yet cleaned itself up, realized that the Snowy must have captured something a bit larger than a rat (or a mighty large wharf rat !). Now there's a story going 'round about a chicken gone missing in that Sunset Hill neighborhood, just about the time of the sighting of the messy Snowy...hmmmm. Coincidence ? Maybe...

So, back from that tangential tale, and on with the more uplifting aspects of my finds in the 2 flats areas I lightly birded. The quick (and short) list:

Boe Rd. - thousands of Snow Geese in the field on the south side of Boe, occasionally taking to the sky and sometimes spilling onto the road itself - an American Kestrel chasing off a Red-tailed Hawk and then setting about getting on with its own hunting

Thomle Rd. - another kestrel on a wire - no Snowys visible -

Eide Rd. - a couple of buteos and a lot of people - I didn't walk down to look for any Snowys - no Short-eareds :-(

Edison - the usual Merlin at the top of the middle conifer behind the Inn

en route to and including West 90 - Northern Harriers, quite a few 'posted' Red-tailed Hawks, a couple of Rough-legged Hawks, Bald Eagles (mostly pairs near nests), and a Northern Shrike, which kept returning to the same small tree to the east of the paved path. Thanks to Barry Uhlman for pointing it out and for sharing his photos of it - I managed, despite the low light, to get a couple of half-decent shots of this bird.

A nice and hopeful touch at the conclusion of my time up there, was the sight of one Short-eared Owl crossing in front of me in the darkening evening, on Farm-to-Market Rd.

bird photos from this trip, can be viewed by clicking on this Flickr link:


Barb Deihl

North Matthews Beach - NE Seattle

barbdeihl at comcast.net
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