[Tweeters] Some good Skagit birds

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 29 19:35:42 PDT 2013

Dear Tweeters,
Today, 29 September 2013, was a good day for birding in blustery weather in Skagit County.
Just as yesterday, there were hundreds of swallows at almost every birding stop. Fifty Violet-greens were at my house near Cockreham Island before I left in the morning. Barn Swallows in the scores to hundreds could be seen at most coastal spots. The only place other than my house where Violet-greens predominated today was at Lake Erie, interestingly enough. Down the road at Lake Campbell, I saw no swallows at all.
Trying to stay abreast of Scott Atkinson's sightings, I went out to Rosario Head to try for the booby, but found none--tit for tat, though, a few good birds did show up. An ANCIENT MURRELET made my morning out there. I'd never seen one in September before. It was feeding on the fringes of a small flock that centered around eight Common Murres and a harbor seal. There were lots of Heermann's Gulls and a few Californias and Ring-billeds with the Glaucous-wingeds--but, oddly, no Mews.
There were lots of passerines along the beach, plus an Anna's Hummingbird. A HERMIT THRUSH foraged in the parking lot, hopping under my car at one point.
Having got the booby search off my chest, I headed to the lakes. At Lake Erie it was pretty quiet, but I was very surprised when I put the scope on the only duck on the lake--a female SURF SCOTER! I have seen very, very few of these on fresh water in Skagit County. In the brush here to the east of the boat launch was another HERMIT T'HRUSH, skulking about.
On Lake Campbell were three Ruddy Ducks, the first ones I have seen this season. It was too early for real duck-watching--I saw zero Aythya ducks today, for example.
At Telegraph Slough access, a nice little assemblage of passerines was foraging in the devilishly thorny brush. Among these birds was an Orange-crowned Warbler.
At Jensen Access, I could hardly stand up in the gale. Among the few birds I identified here was a single SANDHILL CRANE that came in on the wind. It flew north, then down into a ditch alongside a cornfield in mid-island, where it stayed.
I spent the latter part of the afternoon at the Game Range, where there were lots of birds. I saw one Peregrine Falcon, which I think was one of the three birds I saw here on the 14th inst., presumably the same threesome that Scott saw yesterday. Sixteen Cedar Waxwings were a pleasant surprise here.
Just as I was about to leave, a small sparrow hopped up and perched on the wooden rail fence, not ten meters from the car. CLAY-COLORED SPARROW! This had been a long-sought county jynx bird for me, so yippee skippees were very much in order. It was foraging with White-crowned Sparrows along the fenceline between the new outhouse and the gap in the fence, whence one leaves the parking lot to begin the dike walk.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch
Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA

garybletsch at yahoo.com

"Nun," sagte ich, "wenn ich ein Taugenichts bin, so ist's gut, so will ich in die Welt gehen, und mein Glueck machen." Und eigentlich war mir das recht lieb, denn es war mir kurz vorher selber eingefallen, auf Reisen zu gehen, da ich die Goldammer, welche im Herbst und Winter immer betruebt an unserm Fenster sang: "Bauer, miet' mich, Bauer, miet' mich!" nun in der schoenen Fruehlingszeit wieder ganz stolz und lustig vom Baume rufen hoerte: "Bauer, behalt' deinen Dienst!"

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