[Tweeters] Skagit birding

Marv Breece marvbreece at q.com
Sat Dec 17 09:17:10 PST 2016

Yesterday I visited the Skagit Game Range in search of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS. It was 21 degrees at 8AM as I viewed at least 70 of them across the drive from the larger parking lot.

Next I went to Hayton where the wind drove the 21 degrees right thru me. Two GREATER YELLOWLEGS perched at the water's edge and a flock of DUNLIN swarmed around the new lake. Jensen Access had the above as well as 20 or so BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS. The saltwater harbored numbers of ducks and gulls and a few swans. Nearby a huge flock of SNOW GEESE did their snow globe thing. Always a treat.

At that point I decided to go up to the Samish Flats and look for falcons. I was surprised to find 2 AMERICAN KESTRELS on Bayview/Edison Road between D'Arcy and the Samish T. And a third just north of the West 90. At the West 90 was a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, a few BALD EAGLES, RED-TAILS, and a low flying SHORT-EARED OWL, mixing it up with one of a few NORTHERN HARRIERS. The owl gained elevation and flew with purpose to the east. Also saw a WILSON'S SNIPE at the West 90 and a few WESTERN MEADOWLARKS.

I parked the car in Edison, determined to see the dark Merlin I have seen there the past couple of winters. By walking the streets I can often find the bird when it is not visible from the car, but not yesterday. I did see a hummingbird, a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER and 12 SAVANNAH SPARROWS.

At Field Rd & Farm to Market there was a COOPER'S HAWK and a NORTHERN SHRIKE.

On the way south I passed thru Bay View. To my surprise I spotted a perched MERLIN across from the boat maker. When it flew, the flight pattern and rounded wings said juvenile to me. A few minutes later, while driving south on Best Rd, I spotted a second MERLIN, hell bent for election, just before Chilberg Rd.

At the Game Range once more, a few BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were visible, this time mixed with CEDAR WAXWINGS. Also a NORTHERN SHRIKE.

Marv Breece
Tukwila, WA
marvbreece at q.com

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