[Tweeters] Black and Blue on Samish and Skagit Delta

Jon Houghton jon.houghton at hartcrowser.com
Thu Jan 4 21:15:40 PST 2018

Happy NY Tweets - Today I took a solo trip to the north to build up my 2018 list and do an early scout trip for an SAS trip in February. Starting at the Bow Hill Stakeout, the continuing Blue Jay was an easy mark. From there, I drove down Sunset Rd toward Edison looking for the Prairie Falcon, but picking up only a few easy FOY like American Kestrel and Snow Geese (they, and Bald Eagles, were everywhere!). At the West 90, I didn't see any owls (reported to be about by some photogs), but, as I was leaving, a nice juvenile PRAIRIE FALCON flew Into cottonwoods north of the parking lot. Continuing up to the Samish Island Alice Bay overlook, there were 2 spp of loons, WW and Surf Scoters, plus just a couple of Long-tailed Ducks, way out. Regrettably, the Ancient Murrelets that were here in December were not to be found. Heading south through Bayview to Fir Island there was nothing too exciting. Turning left on Fir Is. onto Moore Rd., I stopped long enough to find about 6 Tundra Swans amongst the several hundred Trumpeters that were close to the road. On to Wylie Slough, the BLACK PHOEBE continues to sally back and forth across the slough that lies to the right of the entrance road and left of the spur road to the west parking lot. Also, at Wylie, my lunch was interrupted by the appearance of Blair Bernson. Together, we decided to go look for the Swamp Sparrow that has been located lately off the end of Rawlins Rd. Walking the dike there, we couldn't call up the Swampy but a good consolation bird was an excellent view of an AMERICAN BITTERN, fishing in the canal right next to the dike - great photos! And a great way to start the year with about 60 spp and 39 FOY. Happy birding!! - Jon Houghton, Edmonds

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