[Tweeters] Snohomish 5 Falcon Day

Rick Taylor taylorrl at outlook.com
Wed Jan 1 20:14:27 PST 2014


Tweeters,



Tina and I finally made it back to Old Snohomish Road and Treosti Road in
the Snohomish River Valley today to see if we could get better looks at the
Gyrfalcon that we saw on 12/28. We found the four Sandhill Cranes in the
same corn field just to the east of the intersection. As the fog started to
lift, I caught sight of the Gyrfalcon ( falcon no. 1) gliding low over the
field behind the Cranes. It then perched up; but, between the fog and the
distance we couldn't get a photo that was even as good as the poor ones from
the 28th. But, between the photos and observation on the 28th and seeing it
today in flight, we are sure enough of the ID to put it on eBird. Poor
digiscoped photo is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/2birders/11699820263/.



As we were getting ready to leave I spotted an American Kestrel ( falcon no.
2) on the wires along the road. This gave me the bright idea to trash our
planned itinerary and try for a Five Falcon Day. So, we headed for Port
Susan Bay. We had a Merlin (falcon no. 3) in a tree top at the dairy farm
at WA-530 and 7th Ave NE near Arlington. At the TNC Port Susan Bay
Preserve, we set up the scope and started searching for the Prairie Falcon
that has been there for about the last month. I scoped the driftwood while
Tina monitored the fields behind us. It took an hour to find a Peregrine
Falcon (no. 4) perched up in the driftwood. Shortly after that I found what
I thought was the Prairie Falcon on the driftwood a long ways out there. It
was too far out to tell for sure if it was the Prairie or another Peregrine.
I watched it for 45 minutes before it finally stretched out its wings and
took flight allowing views of the dark armpits. Bingo -- Falcon number 5
and all in Snohomish County.



Other notable birds for the day:

. Cooper's Hawk on our back fence - first bird of 2014!

. American Bittern - TNC Port Susan Bay Preserve by the gate - in
flight with a mouse in its beak

. Northern Shrike - TNC Port Susan Bay Preserve to the north of the
gate

. Sandhill Crane (x4) - intersection of Old Snohomish-Monroe Road &
Treosti Rd

. Short-eared Owl - Eide Road at last light



As a reminder the TNC Port Susan Bay Preserve access is by appointment only.
So, if you haven't made prior arrangements and signed the liability release
forms, you need to stay by the gate.



Happy New Year!



Rick



Rick Taylor

Everett, WA





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