[Tweeters] Samish Flats Snow Goose explosion - Mon., 11/10/14

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Tue Nov 11 00:59:56 PST 2014

They had been in a field just off I-5, before the Chuckanut Dr exit - as I drove by, ready to take that exit and head down into the Samish Flats, they all lifted up in a cloud and moved like an undulating amoebic body of shorebirds, right down to the glinting. I never saw a bird of prey nearby, so I think one of them had just given the signal that it was flow-out-to-the-night-sky time (it was around 5 p.m.), which they proceeded to do. WOW ! A magnificent show. As I got onto Josh Wilson Rd, the geese made their way up, up, up, forming soft-looking ribbons, intertwining and gently flowing across the sky toward the big water to the west. When I got to West 90 for the sunset and any 'good birds', the geese and swans and ducks were still swarming out toward the refinery for at least as long as I was there, and then darkness descended and it was time for me to turn on my headlights and leave them behind. These birds plus a solitary, beautiful Rough-legged Hawk I had seen earlier on a wire near the intersection of Josh Wilson Rd and Farm-to-Market Rd, were my best rewards for having made the drive north. Due to the lateness of my sojourn and a cold wind at W-90, I had to 'settle' for something other than what I had gone up to see. But somehow, that was just fine and dandy - it often works out that way...

P.S. From a response to my query about the tree ID, it seems the tree on which I'd seen the Long-billed Red-tailed Hawk on Fri., is a Sitka spruce - thanks, Jeff G. And thanks, too, to the Jeff D who wrote me telling of having seen and photographed the same redtail in the same spruce, a month back. From this Jeff's good photos, the redtail appears to be an adult, with a nice red tail and looking a bit darker from behind than it had in my views - a Western Redtail? Jeff D never noticed the long bill until I mentioned it - he also is willing to send his photos to "the appropriate folks", so if any of you are among that group, please let me know and either I or he will send his link your way.

Barb Deihl
Matthews Beach Neighborhood - NE Seattle
barbdeihl at comcast.net

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