[Tweeters] Eastside Audubon Samish trip 10 Dec
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Sat Dec 10 20:21:16 PST 2016
Eastside Audubon took a trip to the Samish and Skagit Flats today. The day
started out overcast and chilly with not many birds seen until the Smoky
Point Rest Area. There we had a couple of European Starlings. As we
proceeded north on I-5 we had two COMMON RAVENs fly across the freeway, and
as we came down into the Skagit Valley there were some swans off to the east
at the Conway exit. We stopped and scanned them, and though a bit distant
could see the distinguishing TRUMPETER SWAN features (a few flew in and
called). A line of ROCK PIGEONs was on a light standard.
As we proceeded toward Mount Vernon we had there were more swans but quite
far out in the fields. We took the Chuckanut Drive exit and then turned onto
Pulver Rd, where we had a tree with probably 200 EUROPEAN STARLINGS and one
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. At Cook Rd we had some closer swans that were all
TRUMPETER. On Allen West Rd. we had still more Starlings and our first
AMERICAN CROWs, and two AMERICAN KESTRELs. There were scattered GREAT BLUE
HERONs along our route so far.
We started to pick up some light misty rain occasionally, and remarked to
ourselves about a lack of ducks so far. Just as we turned onto Ershig Rd. we
saw a RED-TAILED HAWK perched on a telephone line along Chuckanut. A
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE was on the wires, and we saw several more along the
way. The fields had more distant swans.
We turned onto Worline Rd. and saw still more distant swans, an a couple of
flying BALD EAGLEs. We drove thru Bow Cemetery, but had no birds, but at the
first house after turning left on Bow Cemetery Rd. we had a very nice look
at a female DOWNY WOODPECKER on a suet feeder and several DARK-EYED JUNCOs
on the ground. Along Bow Hill Rd. we had more EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVEs, some
distant perched BALD EAGLEs, and more Starlings.
We made a stop at Farm to Market Bakery in Bow (umm yum!), and it began to
really rain. We had a few more BALD EAGLEs, but still not many waterfowl. In
the lagoon on Blanchard Rd. we had BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON MERGANSERs and
NORTHERN PINTAIL. Back south on Blanchard Rd we saw a KILLDEER on a
driveway, and at the feeders we saw DARK-EYED JUNCOs, HOUSE SPARROWs, a
SPOTTED TOWHEE, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and more
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVEs (they have really increased here). As we came back
down Chuckanut Drive we saw a bunch of AMERICAN WIGEON and MALLARDs, but
before we could look them over they all flushed and didn't want to settle
We ran thru Edison and turned onto Bow-Edison Rd. and just beyond the Samish
River we saw a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, with a couple of BALD EAGLEs in the large
Cottonwood. Around the corner we had two NORTHERN HARRIERs and a RED-TAILED
HAWK. Just past the T on Samish Island Rd. we had great looks at a hovering
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK (the wind had picked up) giving great looks at the white
head, dark carpal patches, and light tail with a black sub-terminal band. At
the West 90 we parked and walked out thru the rain and wind to scan the
fields - BALD EAGLEs, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKs and NORTHERN HARRIER.
At the base of Samish Island we scanned the extension of Samish Bay and saw
BUFFLEHEAD, NORTHERN PINTAIL. More BALD EAGLEs came soaring down the ridge,
with another ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. Scanning the bay at the Marsh Rd. pullout we
saw COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD, HORNED GREBE, RED-NECKED GREBE, SURF
SCOTER, PACIFIC LOON, and COMMON LOON.
We ran down toward the Skagit Flats and on found a field with a nice
grouping of swans. Several really close TRUMPETER giving great looks, and
further out in the field a mixed group of TRUMPETER and TUNDRA SWANs, close
together to give a nice comparison. A short ways down the road we saw CANADA
and CACKLING GOOSE.
A stop at the feeders on Valentine Rd. we saw another female DOWNY
WOODPECKER, DARK-EYED JUNCOs, SONG SPARROWs, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW,
MOURNING DOVE, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE.
With the rain settling in for good we decided to head for home.
At various spots during the day we saw GREEN-WINGED TEAL, ANNA'S
HUMMINGBIRD, RING-BILLED and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLs, DOUBLE-CRESTED
CORMORANT, STELLER'S JAY, AMERICAN ROBIN, HOUSE FINCH.
It was a good day, in spite of the weather, with good companions and we saw
47 birds for the day.
Brian H Bell
Mail to bell asoc a t iso media dot com
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