[Tweeters] Skagit Great Egret at last, and so forth

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 28 17:32:51 PST 2017

Dear Tweeters,
Today, the twenty-eighth of December 2017, I sallied forth for the umpteenth time to look for the Great Egret that has eluded me again and again this last few months. As I remarked to a couple of birders yesterday, I was starting to think of this bird as Moby Egret, and myself as Captain Nay-hab. Today, though, the bird finally revealed itself to me.
After trying for it once again on Fir Island, including North Fork Access, I drove up to Dodge Valley, and found the bird in a ditch, barely visible as I rounded a bend in the road. I almost did not stop the car, figuring that the distant white object would be just another five-gallon bucket, but I did stop, and am glad that I did. I had been wondering whether this bird might be hanging out at Fishtown, a seldom-visited, seldom-birded area between the North Fork Skagit and LaConner. Now I think that it probably is. That would explain why it is so hard to find. 
A good strategy for finding this egret would be either to bring several millennia worth of karma and good luck along for the ride, or else to drive for miles and miles between Channel Drive and Milltown, looking in every ditch.
Later, at Breazeale Interpretive Center, I found a nice flock of Common Redpolls, plus a Hutton's Vireo and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Also at Breazeale was a bird that I will put on eBird as "passerine species." This bird popped up in a leafless tree above a rose thicket, just thirty yards or less from the wooden gateway to the Upland Trail. The thicket was chock-full of various songbirds, but this one individual puzzled me. Hopefully somebody else will go there and find an Accentor, or a Muscicapa flycatcher, or some other goody--the bird had me totally stumped. It seemed to be larger than a junco but smaller than an American Robin, and I think it had reddish-brown feather edging on the wings.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch

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