[Tweeters] NY's Eve (Day) Near Stanwood & West 90 - 12/31/14

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Thu Jan 1 11:10:12 PST 2015

Six super crystal cold hours spent roaming old haunts in new light, on the lookout for any old or new raptor I might chance upon - ultimate targets were the Eide and West 90 owls, but was fortuitously sidetracked, expanding my goals to..."anything beautiful". Watched 3 or 4 Short-eared Owls bounce and pounce at W-90 using my scope to follow their movements - they didn't disappoint - they hunted and cavorted and moved quickly from spot to spot, mostly sticking to the NW area near the west dike, but also appeared down at the south end. Once an SEOW divebombed, several times, a pesky Common Raven, As they say, they (the SEOW) "made my day", but so did many other birds and sights along the way. Missed the Eide Rd. "late show" but, luckily a photographer or 2 didn't - hope a couple post a shot or 2 for all to see. At Eide, at 2 p.m. I did find a gorgeous Rough-legged Hawk perched near the parking area and another Buteo on the large snag you see as you first drive down the road from SR 532. Heard a Merlin was seen in the area, too. Also heard the LEOW was overwhelmed by the photographers that moved in to shoot it - bounced out of the bushes by the encroaching enthusiasts - reminds me of what happened with the one up at West 90 a couple of years ago - I imagine the owl won't be there much longer, what with the human factor...

Rough-leggeds, mostly light-colored beauties, were fairly plentiful all over the Stillaskamish. And so were Red-tailed Hawks, starting along I-5 near exit 179 on a light standard, and continuing to be seen perched on posts and branches, all the way up to and in, the Samish Flats. Saw one American Kestrel on a wire along Pioneer Highway out of Stanwood. Saw a redtail with a blue wing tag on a wire along Best Rd, but didn't have time to stop to try to read the tag - W90 was calling. Paired Bald Eagles were seen at and around their nests - again, all over - the dependable "Eagle Tree" on the Bayview-Edison Rd. out of Edison, sported a group of 6 baldies as I drove by. Northern Harriers were to be seen gliding over every wet field (and there are a lot of such damp spots up there) - saw one male NOHA also along the Bayview-Edison Rd., near the West 90, in a field north of the road.

Notable, besides things with talons, were the many congregations of swans - Snow Geese were absent - they must have been hiding off near or on the bays, staying clear of humans with the loud sticks - only saw hunters at W90 and most coming off the fields at sunset, had not had any luck (with with duck or goose booty), but seemed to have enjoyed just being out there seeing whatever was to be seen in the plentiful sunlight.

For a quick photographic look at my 6-hr tour, click here: no owl shots - too far away for me and my 'equipment' ! :


Another special 'escape' to the north flats, in good company... :-)

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

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