[Tweeters] Snohomish owls and more

Louise Rutter louise.rutter at eelpi.gotdns.org
Wed Jan 14 17:48:38 PST 2015

I finally had the time to make the trip up to Snohomish after all the
exciting reports and photos. I found the white-throated sparrow exactly
where Carol Riddell originally reported it on Norman Road - it showed after
about 10 minutes. This is a very sparrow-ful spot, with many white- and
golden-crowned, song, a fox, juncos, towhees and a beautiful Lincoln's. They
were all hopping out of the large bramble patch to feed on the compost heap
behind it. The white-throated sparrows I have seen previously have mainly
been the tan-striped variety, so it was great to see this beautiful
white-striped bird.

I arrived at Eide Road at 1.45pm, which was great timing as the mist was
just burning off. I had hoped that after more than a week, and on a workday,
some of the owl fever might have worn off, but that was definitely not the

There was a single long-eared owl roosting in the first group of bushes
beyond the car park, as previously described. The bushes are right next to
the trail, and photographers poked cameras in there on and off all the time
I was there. There were often groups of six or more people standing chatting
on the path right by it. The owl would open its eyes to stare at the more
intrusive cameras, then close them again when the lens was retracted. I
suppose if it was badly disturbed by all this, it would have chosen a
different bush to roost in by now.

I'm not sure how many short-eared owls were out hunting - at least 8, quite
probably more. Enough that there was some conflict over who got to hunt
which bit of marsh, with chasing and screaming. It was a beautiful afternoon
in the sun with a lot of bird activity to watch.

Louise Rutter


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