[Tweeters] some Skagit birding yesterday

Lonnie Somer mombiwheeler at gmail.com
Tue Dec 19 10:10:53 PST 2017

Hi Tweeters,

Yesterday Scot Duncan, Ben Roberts, and I birded at several locations in
Skagit County. The rain stopped shortly before our first location and held
off until we were driving back to Seattle. We ended the day with nearly 60
species, with Scot and Ben each getting a couple of lifers and myself
getting a new state bird. Here are a few highlights:

We started the day at Samish Flats West 90 in the hopes of seeing
Short-eared Owls. We dipped on that species, but Scot's sharp eyes picked
out a consolation BARN OWL. There were a number of raptors present,
including a couple of ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS.

Driving around Samaish Flats produced about 40 species, including large
numbers of SNOW GOOSE and swans as well as a couple more ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS
and a N. SHRIKE.

Our next stop was at 16320 Bow St. to try for the BLUE JAY that had been
reported there previously. After perhaps half and hour, Ben spotted it in
the trees on the other side of the railroad tracks. It eventually joined
the large group of juncos, Mourning Doves, Spotted Towhees, and Song
Sparrows which were feeding on bird food that the property owner had
scattered on the ground on the south side of his small orchard. It hung
out in the open long enough for us to take some decent photos. This was
between 10:00 and 11:00. As noted in an earlier Tweeters post, the owner
is incredibly nice so if you try of the jay, please be extremely respectful.

Our next stop was at Rosario Beach/Head, which is worth it just for the
views. While there, we counted about 40 RED-THROATED LOONS. On Sunday, I
birded a portion of the South Sound circle by boat for the Olympia CBC with
Dave and Sherry Hayden and Jim Pruske. We counted 62 Red-throated Loons,
so they appear to be migrating into the region.

We finished the day with a few stops around Fir Island. At the Skagit WMA
- N. Fork Access, we scoped a remarkable 3,000 MALLARDS, plus Scot spotted
another N. SHRIKE. A VIRGINIA RAIL responded to Scot's clapping. A large
flock of SNOW GOOSE, including 4 Blue morphs, TRUMPETER SWANS, and 6 TUNDRA
SWANS were off of Maupin and Rawlins Roads. Finally, at the Wylie Slough
WMA we easily found the BLACK PHOEBE that had been previously reported, For
me, the coolest sighting at this location was a PEREGRINE FALCON chasing a
flock of nearly 40 alarm-calling KILLDEER.

Good birding,

Lonnie Somer

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