[Tweeters] Stanwood Birding situation

Rick Taylor taylorrl at outlook.com
Thu Dec 6 19:13:37 PST 2018

It was *NOT* the house with the US Army flag. The incident was at the first house on 98th with a faded hand lettered sign above the garage reading “Swede’s Funny Farm Shop” Tina and I talked to a number of the homeowners as they came and left. The guy in the last house on the road, where the bird has been seen most frequently, is very friendly. He came out both days that were there and talked about the bird and warned us about the “crazy guy with the shot gun”. We talked to the guy at the second from the last house and told him about the bird. He was non-committal. We never saw anyone at the house of the Veteran with the US Army flag. We talked to the folks that live in a farmstead at the end of the road. They described Swede as “bat-shit crazy”.

Then of course there is ‘Swede’ – the resident at the first house on 98th Ave NW with the “Swede’s Funny Farm Shop” sign. My wife Tina was walking up the road right behind Ann Marie’s car when the incident started, and I was walking along the road about 100ft in front her car. The guy and his wife were both yelling, and Ann Marie was apologizing for pulling into their drive to let the truck and other car pass. Ann Marie and Tina got his wife calmed down very quickly. I decided not to engage in the rant as Tina and Ann Marie had it under control, and injecting another party was not going to help. ‘Swede’ retrieved a shot-gun and mounted the dike and fired at least 3 rounds in the direction of the river. He then went into his driveway and fired three rounds from the hip into bushes on his property along the road. He then unloaded and put the shot-gun into his vehicle and resumed his rant. His wife got visibly nervous and pointed out that it was hunting season and that he had a valid hunting license and could legally hunt on their property. He eventually ranted himself out and he and his wife left in the vehicle. I did not see him point the weapon at anyone nor did I hear him threaten anyone nor did I observe any unsafe weapons handling. My impression was that he was trying to scare away birds so that we would all leave.

If you want to chase the bird, remember that there is no parking anywhere along the road. There are no sidewalks, so walk on the edge of the road. The dike is private and posted with no trespassing signs, so stay off it. All the property is private, so stay on the road. I recommend parking in Stanwood and walking. It’s not far.


Rick Taylor
Everett, WA

From: Tweeters <tweeters-bounces at mailman11.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Nadine Drisseq
Sent: Thursday, December 6, 2018 2:28 PM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] Stanwood Birding situation

I saw the bird after Steve G had left the area yesterday Dec 5th, between 3 and 4.30pm. (I know this because I waved goodbye to Steve when he left.) I saw both the Black Phoebe and the Vermilion Flycatcher near the house that was shooting into the air and blowing off fire crackers,(US Army Flag in yard). I got shots of it at the house next door with the apple tree where the owner seemed much more agreeable. I made sure I didn't point my camera at the house but just at the bird. The shooting seemed to be coming from the house with the US army flag but I'm not 100% on that - can someone confirm?
It was about 10 shots total, but pretty far from where I was. However, I really hate bullies, and I wasn't doing anything wrong - just walking slowly down the road with my lens under my arm and looking mostly with my eyes, and it sounded more like he was trying to scare the birds away from his house. I wasn't even looking in people's yards until I saw the bird fly into the yard of the US Army flag, to the right of the house. That was actually the first time I saw it. It was sallying from the eaves/shingles and then flying to the next yard. The other residents I spoke to were ok with having birders. I spoke to the man at the house at the end on the corner with all the house sparrows in his hedge - he was very nice. The person in the house with the apple tree waved and smiled back when I called and thanked them for their patience. Another stopped in his car and asked what was going on and I explained it was a rare bird and he was very nice too. It was just this one guy spoiling it for everyone else so do be aware of this house with the flags if you go. (I'm fairly sure it was that house)

BTW If that person is serious about disturbing wildlife perhaps he shouldn't be shooting at/in the environs of a rare bird. I certainly will report him if I find out the area is not ok for discharging weapons as soon as I get the chance.

Stanwood Police non emergency line is:

Does anyone have this man's full name so I can report him fully?
Can they confirm that it was the house with the flags that was discharging a firearm?
I tried not look at the house where the shooting was coming from and move away from it, so I wasn't entirely sure.
The shooting stopped after I just ignored it. It took me an hour to find the bird and I wasn't going to give up after driving 2 hours to get there, and also no chance of seeing another one in my lifetime probably. I left after I got some shots of the bird but I returned to show it to another birder at dusk.


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