[Tweeters] Skagit and Samish Flats report

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Sun Mar 29 21:17:30 PDT 2015

A dozen students from the current SAS Master Birders class joined me and Carl Haynie for a jaunt around the Flats on Saturday. Following a dire rain forecast the day before, we were lucky: drizzle on the way up, then drizzle on the way home, but nary a drop during the day. A little wind in the morning encouraged an extra layer, but it became calm later on, providing an overall great day for an outing. Several notables were seen during the day, including:

Swan Goose - hesitate to report but some might find them interesting; 3 birds at East 90; they were there on our scout trip last week as well
Greater White-fronted Goose - half a dozen mixing with the Swans, Alverson Rd
Snow Goose - still abundant; we had a total of over 11,000 birds for the day at several locations; largest flock was at Moberg Rd
Ross’s Goose - one bird in the flock of thousands of SNGO at Moberg Rd, thoughtfully located at the front of the group about 20 m from the road;
photo: http://tinyurl.com/qguunn2
Brant - a flock of well over 500 birds stretched across the far horizon from Bayview State Park to the Padilla Bay Center
Trumpeter Swan - a total of only 3 birds, in the fields adjacent Conway, were seen in the morning but gone by the end of the day
Tundra Swan - several hundred are still around, in several locations; best view of diagnostic features was had from Downey Rd
Wood Duck - half a dozen at Wylie Game Range
Eurasian Wigeon - 1 at West 90; we had at least a dozen during our scout trip a week ago
Cinnamon Teal - 4 at Wylie Game Range
Canvasback - 2 were at Bayview S.P., hanging out with the RBME
Common Merganser - 3 in the river accessed from Moore Rd, Fir Island
Pacific Loon - a single bird seen at Bayview S.P.
Horned Grebe - also, a single bird at Bayview
Rough-legged Hawk - a couple remain, at West and East 90
Greater Yellowlegs - at least a dozen at Eide Rd, many dozen at Wylie Game Range, individuals and flocks, moving around quite a bit
Whimbrel - a distant but diagnostic view of a single bird walking and probing the spit a couple hundred meters north of the Padilla Bay Center shore overlook
Dunlin - several large flocks, several locations, some have transitioned to breeding plumage
Short-eared Owl - a couple remain, at West and East 90
Anna’s Hummingbird - one giving dive noise at Padilla Bay Center
Rufous Hummingbird - at least 4 in several locations, one demonstrating its J dive
Peregrine Falcon - flew over Conway while we were re-fueling
Hutton’s Vireo - one giving its incessant call at Padilla Bay Center upland trail
Orange-crowned Warbler - a couple singing, also on the upland trail
Savannah Sparrow - they are everywhere now
White-crowned Sparrow - also everywhere; a Gambelli was singing at Eide Rd
Red Crossbill - we were finally able to see at least 4 after hearing type 3 calls for a while, from the Community of Christ Church parking lot

We had 94 species for the day, with a few notable misses (STJA, BEKI, AMKE). Not too shabby as we transition from Winter to Spring birds.
Scott Ramos

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