[Tweeters] Stanwood Incident

John Puschock g_g_allin at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 6 16:52:39 PST 2018

I went to Stanwood today for the Vermilion Flycatcher. I had heard previously that there was only one resident who had problems with birders, though now it sounds like there may be more. I hadn't been on that road before, so I decided to at least drive down it and see if it was possible to avoid that house and not cause problems. I made one pass of the area in my vehicle without seeing the bird and decided to head over to Eide Road. I ran into some other birders there who said they had seen the Vermilion on 98th Avenue a short time before and that the residents of the two houses closest to the bend of the paved road didn't mind birders. (I won't name the birders just in case they don't want responsibility for this info.) I then returned and parked near the west end of Leque Rd. (this is where 98th Avenue appears to turn 90 degrees to the east but actually continues south as a dirt road). From here I could see the location where the flycatcher has been seen most frequently -- the yard with short apple trees -- but out of sight of the house with flags on the porch. (In his eBird checklist from a few days ago, Josh Adams recommended parking in this area to minimize conflicts.)

The flycatcher appeared after about 10-15 minutes. I wasn't interested in photographs beyond a record shot for documentation for my eBird checklist, so I didn't bother trying to get closer on 98th Avenue. I left shortly after that.

If you want to look for the bird, this approach may be the best way to avoid any unpleasant situations. Walking up 98th might open you up to conflict. A scope might be helpful if you want to see the bird well. Obviously, obey any no parking and no trespassing signs. I know that sounds like a no brainer, but some have problems with that.

John Puschock
Matthews Beach, Seattle

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