[Tweeters] coastal Skagit County highlights: probable BROWN BOOBY

Scott Atkinson scottratkinson at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 28 18:33:09 PDT 2013


An unlikely day of near-misses and blustery poor weather turned out to be full of good birding. Birding from the Skagit Game Range to Rosario Head, Amy Cox, Sean Morgan and myself found 62 species, including a few heard-onlys. Excitement was clearly generated by the last bird, seen off Rosario Head, a probable BROWN BOOBY at about 2 pm. Admittedly, the bird was far offshore, perched atop a channel marker that had to have been at or very close the absolute s.w. corner of Skagit County. Details as follows: DC Cormorant size (and there were two cormorant, sp. below), a dark bird but colors not real clear (poor lighting and distance), but two of three of us felt brown had been visible at times; Sean and I both saw white on the chest, and Amy commented that the bird was "two-toned" with contrast. I felt that there was a clear, sharp demarcation between the dark brown head and the white chest. In summary, while there is a small possibility of an imm. DC Cormorant, the balance of evidence favored the booby, in this observer's view. There were other highlights. Although I very nearly decided we should skip the Game Range at Wylie Rd., I was real glad we started there. Despite swirling winds and rain, the place was alive with birds. We had real good views of some of the regular shorebirds, plus a surprising 7 sparrow species--including a heard-only SWAMP SPARROW near the outflow pipe on the dike at the mid-way point, and a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW that briefly came into view nearby. On the mudflats side, Sean and I spotted a female YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD--I'd never seen one the Game Range before and the site was atypical (perched in a dead alder with Red-wings). I also don't recall more than a couple other reports on Tweeters since August for wWA. Also atypical for the site it seemed were 13 WOOD DUCKS and an apparent family group of three PEREGRINES, a fourth appearing later in Conway. Dabblers were well represented, with the clear highlight being 12 BLUE-WINGED and 4 CINNAMON TEAL, the former definitely on the latish side of things. Scott AtkinsonLake Stevensmail to: scottratkinson at hotmail.com

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