[Tweeters] Skagit Harris's Sparrow, Golden Eagle

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 27 18:46:19 PDT 2014

Dear Tweeters,

Kraig Kemper, Bob Kuntz, and I had a good day of birding today in the Upper Skagit (27 September 2014).

We saw a lot of the common birds at Howard Miller Steelhead Park, including two American Dippers and about 100 Audubon's Warblers. A Northern Pygmy Owl was calling in the area where I saw one a few weeks ago, but we didn't see it this time.

At Marblemount Boat Launch we found a nice little flock of good birds near the "Fishermen's Access." A Harris's Sparrow perched up in a tree just ten or fifteen meters from us, giving good views for a few minutes. Then a White-throated Sparrow turned up a few feet away, foraging near a puddle below the gate to the Fishermen's Access. A bit later, a female MacGillivray's Warbler joined the other birds drinking at this puddle.

On Sauk Mountain, we found two Sooty Grouse on the way up. At the trailhead parking area, we met Doug Schurman, who had already begun hawkwatching. With quite a bit of patchy fog and occasional clouds, it was challenging and a bit slow, but we stuck it out until after four in the afternoon. We saw a Golden-crowned Sparrow up there, for our fourth Zonotrichia sparrow of the day. Raptors included three Sharpies, a Merlin, a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk, and a Golden Eagle. There were five Band-tailed Pigeons up there as well.

Bob, Kraig, and I stopped at the mouth of the Baker River on the way back, and found at least three, possibly four Ruffed Grouse there, in an area where I hadn't seen them in years. All in all, this year has been a good one for Ruffed Grouse in Skagit County.

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch

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