[Tweeters] Great Blue Heron Rookery, and a Tufted Duck at the Other Vancouver

Joshua Glant josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Sat Feb 21 18:38:30 PST 2015

Hello Tweets,

After hearing all the reports of heron rookeries across the greater Seattle area, I was delighted to encounter one that I have not yet heard of from anyone else. We were stuck in a traffic jam on I-90 W, right at the Mercer Slough. I looked into the trees on the right side of the road (south) and saw a few herons flapping their huge wings! As we inched forward, more herons became visible, many standing near or on their ball-of-sticks nests. I tried firing off a few photos on my point-and-shoot camera, and I think that they may have turned out pretty well!

Again, this rookery is located in the portion of Mercer Slough just south of I-90. The nearest nests were just 20 feet from the freeway! Your best chance of viewing the rookery is probably to hope for a traffic jam!

I caught a glimpse of it this afternoon while driving by.

Oh, and a correction to my last email: I meant to change it, but I wrote that Bewick's Wrens "twitter" and Anna's Hummingbirds "chatter". I think that the Wrens actually "chatter", and that Anna's Hummingbirds "twitter".

On a last note, in case anyone is interested, a gorgeous male Tufted Duck has been seen at the Iona Island sewage ponds in Vancouver, BC. Interestingly enough, the other Tufted Duck in the Pacific Northwest is at Wintler Park near Vancouver, WA. Tufted Ducks must like the name Vancouver! Or maybe Vancouver himself had an eye for good Tufted Duck habitat.

I just saw the Tufted Duck this morning, in fact! Stunningly handsome. He was in the Northwest inner sewage pond, in all his Eurasian, black-and-white glory. He is in prime condition, with a full tuft, ebony back and snowy-white sides. This is on private land with a password-locked gate, though, so you will need to contact the person with the code to get in. Send me a message if you're interested, and I'll forward you the contact info!

I also visited Reifel Bird Sanctuary this afternoon. I couldn't get to the Great Gray Owl, but there was a special tour to the private area where it has been seen at 3 PM. It sounded like the owl was present, at least from what I heard at the visitor center. I made up for being too early for the tour with several Black-crowned Night-Herons, including a juvenile, and a very visible Great Horned Owl, among many other great birds! Though I didn't see them, there are also a few Swamp Sparrows (which I might have heard at the NW corner near the observation tower), and a Harris's Sparrow in the bushes near the entrance to the trails, beside the visitor center.

Great birding in Vancouver, BC! I have a feeling that the same is true with Vancouver, WA...

Oh, and to contribute to the Raven conversation, I saw one soaring over downtown Vancouver on February 19th. I'm always happy whenever I see one!

Wishing you good birding as always, Joshua Glant

Mercer Island, WA

Josh.n.glant at gmail.com

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