[Tweeters] Skagit birding and a question

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 14 19:42:52 PDT 2017

Dear Tweeters,
Since today (14th October) marks the first day of waterfowl-slaughter, I decided to stay away from Fir Island. That proved fortuitous. Here are a few highlights.
March Point--although the presence of a dozen or more camo-clad men on the dredge-spoil islands has apparently scared off the pelicans, there was a nice flock of Semipalmated Plovers on the mud near Whitmarsh.
Rosario Head--a single ANCIENT MURRELET could be seen amongst the large numbers of Common Murres. There were also two Pacific Loons.
Lake Erie--all five regular Aythya ducks were present, with quite a few Ring-necked Ducks and Lesser Scaup, two Greater Scaup, a drake Canvasback, and a female REDHEAD. There was also a single Ruddy Duck and my first Bufflehead of the fall.
Washington Park--here's the question. Do people hand-feed birds at the memorial Carroll Louise Newport bench--the one overlooking Green Point? I refer to the bench by the concrete steps leading down to the beach just around the corner from Green Point itself. At this spot, I always see passerines very close in. Today, a CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE landed on my scope, then pecked my hand! Meanwhile, Spotted Towhees, Song Sparrows, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, some Oregon Juncos, and a Pacific Wren disported themselves within a meter of me, as they almost always do at this location. Oh, another very cool thing here was a Pacific Wren trying very hard to convince me that it was a Brown Creeper, creeping up and up the trunk of a conifer, foraging on the bark, and staying there for a good five minutes, before descending in a pretty good imitation of a creeper's spiraling downward flight!
Bay View State Park--a PARASITIC JAEGER was harassing the Bonaparte's Gulls out in the bay. There were a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers, too.
Samish Island Public Beach--there were a few more Buffleheads and Red-breasted Mergansers here, plus a very spiffy-looking Pacific Loon.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch

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