[Tweeters] Wylie Slough Pewees and Great Egret - sort of

Blair Bernson blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com
Fri May 15 18:01:41 PDT 2015

Even though it had not been seen for a couple of
days, I ventured to Blaine/Semiahmoo hoping that
somehow maybe the Hudsonian Godwit had returned -
planning to stop at Wylie Slough and Eide Road on
the return. Well, I messed up on tides and
Drayton Harbor, Blaine and Semiahmoo were
surrounded by seemingly miles of exposed mud and
little water. Everything (and a lot of
"everything" was missing) was very distantly
viewed if at all. The only shorebird I saw was a
single Whimbrel in Drayton Harbor - probably 100
yards out in the mud. There was an amazing
congregation (200+) yards out of probably 200
Great Blue Herons and a similar number of
cormorants swimming in what little water filled
the harbor - with similar numbers on roosts/nests
at both Semiahmoo and Blaine. Terns, both Common
and Caspian have been reported recently at both
places and I looked diligently in the marinas
without luck - until finally I found a large mixed
flock - probably 300-400 yards out sitting on the
mud - south of the Blaine Marina. Even with a
scope I had poor views of probably 125 birds - but
noting both size differences and forked tails for
some in flight, it was clear that both species
were present. Of course no Hudsonian Godwit...

On to Wylie Slough with a couple of stops along
the way. I had spent more time in Whatcom County
than planned and had to get back earlier than
expected for something else so Eide Road was going
to have to wait. I parked by the Boat Launch and
was immediately serenaded by multiple singing
Yellow Warblers - some reluctant to show
themselves and two in particular that were
anything but when I played their song. Indeed one
almost flew into my camera and at that point
figured they should be left alone. The singing
continued however and I believe that in the area
nearby there could have been as many as 6. I
walked over towards the spot near where the Least
Flycatcher was seen last year hoping for ... well
... any kind of flycatcher. On the way I heard at
first the note and then the song of at least one
Swainson's Thrush and also at least one Black
Headed Grosbeak (which seem to be everywhere
now). Then as soon as I got to the Least FC spot,
I heard a calling Western Wood Pewee - maybe two.
I was able to locate one near the red building on
private property and another in the public area to
almost exactly where the Least had been. One came
in to my calls and posed nicely. Since the other
continued to sing at the time I knew there were two.

Now for the Egret (sort of): at the Boat Launch an
older (even older than me!!) gentleman on a
bicycle pulled up with his dog. He threw a stick
in the water which was retrieved but brought to me
rather than to the owner. This led to an
interesting talk and it was clear that while not a
birder per se, this guy knew his stuff. He told
me that maybe 10-14 days ago he had seen a "white
stork" in the pond where the recent work had been
done near the other parking lot (which he hated
BTW). When I said the word "egret" he immediately
said - yeah that's the word and the bird. I have
not followed reports for the area but do not
recall seeing one reported there. This gentleman
is a regular there and knew it was unusual -
having seen one there only once before.

So before leaving I of course checked it out - no
Egret - Gadwalls, Mallards and a Cinnamon Teal
only. AND again many serenading Yellow Warblers -
and another Western Wood Pewee. I wonder what I
might have missed at Eide Raod.

Blair Bernson

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