[Tweeters] AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS at Samish Island (Fish Point)

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Sat Apr 26 08:26:01 PDT 2014


Late yesterday evening, while scanning birds on a falling tide from Fish
Point at the NE corner of Samish Island, I suddenly found two large, white
birds sitting on the mudflats, over a mile away at the south end of Samish
Bay. My first thought was "What the hell are these-- swans or pelicans??"
They dwarfed the nearby gulls, but their heads were tucked in, and there was
a lot of shimmer over the flats, so there weren't many field marks to go on.
However, their legs were bright, deep orange, so they obviously weren't
swans. Eventually, the two birds woke up and started preening, and I could
see the long, yellowish-orange bills, and could even make out the "plate" on
the upper mandible of each bird. At one point they walked a few steps and I
though perhaps they were going to fly, but they settled down and began
preening again. They were still there when I left at about 7:30, and
hopefully they'll still be there today. This section of the Samish Bay
shoreline can't be viewed from any easily accessible point other than Fish

For me, this capped off a great day of birding in northern Skagit County.
The other species of note for me was a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL which was not
seen, but which tooted away for a couple of minutes near the end of Shaw
Road, a dead-end road just south of Lake Samish. Both the owl and the
pelicans were new for my all-time Skagit County list-- not a trifling
milestone when you consider that I've been birding Skagit County at frequent
intervals ever since 1968!!

Sorry to be a bit slow in posting this, but I was dead tired when I finally
got home last night.

Good luck and good birding,

Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

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