[Tweeters] some Skagit birds on 11-16

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 16 18:17:44 PST 2013

Dear Tweeters,
Today (16 November 2013) was a good day for Skagit County birding.
Phil Wright led a Skagit Audubon field trip to Rosario Head today. A fresh to strong breeze blew continuously from the west, right in our faces, but we still saw a lot of good birds there. Three Black Turnstones were hanging out with four Black Oystercatchers. Among the gulls were one each of Thayer's, Herring, and California, besides all the Glaucous-winged and Mew Gulls. We saw only a few Common Murres and Marbled Murrelets, though, and no other alcids. We saw quite a few songbirds, too. An Anna's Hummingbird blew by the group momentarily, but I was the only one who saw it.
Lake Erie had a goodly flock of ducks, including a couple of Ruddies. Phil and I estimated that there were at least a hundred Common Mergansers. Some of the males were beginning to look pretty spiffy.
Perhaps the most amazing sight for me today was a huge flock of blackbirds at the Samish Flats East Nineties. Besides about 3000 Red-winged Blackbirds and several hundred each of Eurasian Starling and Brewer's Blackbird, there was at least one Brown-headed Cowbird in there, plus two Yellow-headed Blackbirds! A few Western Meadowlarks just south of there made for a five-Icterine day. Actually, there was a weird-looking bird that I thought could have been a sixth Icterine, maybe a Rusty, but the flock demonstrated the usual skittishness and made it impossible to confirm that possible identification.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch

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