[Tweeters] from Mike Hamilton's trip "Up North" on Fri. 11/14/14

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Sat Nov 15 14:06:19 PST 2014

Mike gave me permission to post his report from his trip , as well as his photos - I have selected 8 that I particularly liked and put them in an album in my Flickr acct. Here's the album link:


And, here are some excerpts from his report that I thought you might appreciate:

Today I toured the river deltas from Boe Rd. to West-90....about 25 miles apart.

On the way to Boe Rd., I passed a field of swans (1-2) that were close by a troop of gulls on ice (3).

For some strange reason I didn’t see too many snow geese today. The only flock I encountered was right along Boe Rd. (4). Down the road a half mile, looking in their general direction, was a 4th-year eagle (5).

Next stop....Eide Rd., a mile west of Stanwood. Here I found several eagles hunting over the meadow (6-7). And, as always, northern harriers doing likewise (8-9). [Note: Mike later realized, with a prompt from someone on his list], that the #9 photo is of a Rough-legged Hawk and # 8 is a male N. Harrier] And today there was a first (for me). A northern shrike was doing likewise (10). However, no short-eared owls did I see.

Next, I hopped up to Fir Island, looking for owls, snow geese, and swans, and found none. I did find a nice view of Mt. Baker across Fir Island farmland (11). Out above the Skagit Bay, dunlin were in a frenzy (12), spooked by something, I suppose.

And finally, up to West-90 and another view of Mt. Baker (13). Here, too, as always, northern harriers were prowling (14-16). Joining them, as hoped, were about six short-eared owls. The were very active for awhile, but were very stand-offish. I did what I could (17-23). Next time! Besides the raptors, there were lots of ducks in the air (24), lots of hunters, and lots of shooting. Fortunately, there were not hunters where I wanted to be at the time. There were some small birds, such as sparrows and meadowlarks, but the only volunteer was another northern shrike (25).

And even more finally, started back home, I screeched to a stop for a red-tailed hawk in absolutely horrible backlighting (26).

That’s it,


So, the Short-eared Owls are moving back into the Samish Flats area right now - maybe to other spots as the season progresses...

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

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