[Tweeters] late Swainson's and a few other Skagit Co highlights 10/13; mushroom-eating birds

Scott Atkinson scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 14 20:10:00 PDT 2013


Just as Gary Bletsch mentioned, we (Tiny and I) started out at Fisher Slough and though there was
a nice mix of dabblers, shorebirds were few, so kudos to all of you who did so well there. Cara has
one heck of good report from Wiley Slough!

After Fisher Slough we had a good day visiting our favorite spots, but nothing really earth-shaking
was found.

At Green Point from about 10:15-11:15, we had one WESTERN GREBE, and between there and the
south end of Cypress I., I counted 505 BONAPARTE'S GULLS. Amazingly, this wasn't enough to
attract a jaeger, but I did see two far-off STERNA, sp. terns (likely COMMON, but could not rule
out others). We had a nice mix of alcids that included two ANCIENT and 27 MARBLED MURRELETS.
The best bird at Washington Park, though, was a very late SWAINSON'S THRUSH that we saw at
point-blank range right along the drive about 25 yards past Green Pt., one of four thrush sp in the
park that day. I believe Oct. 13 is the latest ever for Skagit County. 7 gull species included a first-
winter THAYER'S (not FOS--had two off Rosario a week ago).

Also of some note, we saw a EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE near the ferry landing at Guemes I. I don't
know if others have already found them out there, but it seemed like a remote spot. On Saturday,
Oct. 12, we had an accommodating ANNA's HUMMINGBIRD at Tiny's Land in n. Lake Stevens, a new
yard bird for us--in heavy forest, we weren't sure we would get one or not. You could scarcely think
of two species that have increased so dramatically in our region in recent years.

As far as Rob's note on grouse eating mushrooms--it is certainly true that the larger, fleshier species
draw a whole lot of worms. Also--thinking of the Puget Sound Mycological Society's recent
event--does anyone know of a comprehensive book with a key (along the lines of C.L Hitchcock's Flora
of the Pacific Northwest for vascular plants, covering thousands of species) for our fungi? Seems
like such a shame that the best we get are a few field guides that capture just the most common ones,
when we seem west of the Cascades to be one of the premier regions on the planet, with new species
being detected even now. Apparently a major survey effort in the Queen Charlottes to the north
recently bagged a number of species new to science...

Scott Atkinson
Lake Stevens
mail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com

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