[Tweeters] EAS trip to Samish-Skagit-Stillaguamish 13 Mar 13 - long

B&PBell bellasoc at isomedia.com
Wed Mar 13 19:37:43 PDT 2013


Hi Tweets

Eastside Audubon took a trip to the Samish/Skagit/Stillaguamish flats today. The day started out warm and overcast but dry. We picked up several (5 or 6) RED-TAILED HAWKs as we made our way north. At the Smokey Point Rest Area we had a CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET. When we dropped down into the Skagit Valley we saw many fields with swans, but too far away for definite i.d.

As we made our way up Chuckanut Drive we picked up a few fields with MALLARDs in them, and BALD EAGLEs. Along Field Rd. we had a field with GLAUCOUS-WINGED and hybrid GULLs and a single WESTERN GULL. Near the Bow Cemetary we saw lots of AMERICAN ROBINs, a DARK-EYED JUNCO and a couple of NORTHERN HARRIERs. Chuckanut Drive north of Bow was the motherload of wigeon today. Every puddle, temporary pond and wet field had scads of AMERICAN WIGEON and by the time we got up near Blanchard we had picked up about 8 EURASIAN WIGEON. One of the first ponds had two GREATER YELLOWLEGs. The wet areas also had lots of NORTHERN PINTAIL, MALLARDs, some GREEN-WINGED TEAL and NORTHERN SHOVELER, and several KILLDEER. An AMERICAN KESTREL was perched on the wires along the road. Lots more Bald Eagles along the area. At Blanchard there were 18 EURASIAN-COLLARED DOVEs, a single MOURNING DOVE, and a couple of STELLER'S JAYs.

Between Bow and Edison there were a few more BALD EAGLEs and some RED-TAILED HAWKs. Outside of Edison we saw the usual dozen BALD EAGLEs in the Cottonwoods, a RED-TAILED HAWK and our first ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. Approaching the East 90 the field to the west had another large group of AMERICAN WIGEON. At the West 90 there were probably 12 BALD EAGLEs, a couple of NORTHERN HARRIERs, a RED-TAILED HAWK and a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. A large group of wigeon was at the 90 including another couple EURASIAN WIGEON.

Up at Wharf Rd, we saw BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, RED-BREASTED MERGANSERs, SURF SCOTERs and a single PIGEON GUILLEMOT. Working our way back down past the West 90 we turned south on Bayview-Edison Rd. and had another Bald Eagle, a few CANADA GEESE, a Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawk, and still more wigeon, shovelers, pintail and mallards. A single CALIFORNIA QUAIL was seen.

By this time it was beginning to sprinkle and we made a lunch stop at Bayview State Park (taking advantage of the covered picnic shelter). Surprisingly there were almost no birds out on Padilla Bay. As we got ready to leave there was a small group of COMMON GOLDENEYE.

South of SR20 four NORTHERN FLICKERs flew away down the road. Lots more swans in the fields. We got closer looks a swans on Dodge Valley Rd. and picked up both TRUMPETER and TUNDRA SWANs. We stopped at the Valentine Rd feeders, but there was no! activity at them - there was one SONG SPARROW on one of the feeders, but it was frozen in place and did not move in several minutes of watching. That was a clue that there was probably an accipiter around. Besides no visible birds there was no song or chipping.

We drove down Rawlins Rd. and saw another AMERICAN KESTREL (male) and down near the end of the road we had about 300 SNOW GEESE. By now it was windy and rainy and there was no activity visible from the top of the dike.

It was quiet on Eide Rd in Stanwood with one ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK and a RED-TAILED HAWK. At the Stanwood Treatment Ponds we picked up AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD, NORTHERN SHOVELER, RING-NECKED DUCK, GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENYE, HOODED MERGANSER, and RUDDY DUCK. We finished up on Thomle Rd with more mallards in the field and a single SNOWY OWL visible on the dike.

At various places along our route we picked up DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, GREAT BLUE HERONs, COOPER'S HAWK, ROCK PIGEON, AMERICAN CROW, COMMON RAVEN, EUROPEAN STARLING, SPOTTED TOWHEDD, SONG SPARROW, RED-WINGED and BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS, WESTERN MEADOWLARK, HOUSE FINCH and PINE SISKIN.

In spite of the wind and rain during the last part of the day we finished with 54 species, and nice looks at many of them. A good day with a nice group of folks.

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


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