[Tweeters] Fir Island, October 14, 2019

byers345 at comcast.net byers345 at comcast.net
Wed Oct 16 16:40:20 PDT 2019


Hello Tweeters,

Over the weekend there were a number of tantalizing reports
of interesting birds on Fir Island, just west of Conway, WA. People saw and
got photos and videos of 6 White-faced Ibis and a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.
There were flyovers of American White Pelicans, Franklin's Gull, and I
forget what all else. Moreover, just a few miles south there was a Sandhill
Crane not far from Stanwood. We couldn't resist going up to see which of
these cool birds we could find. To make a long story short, the answer is
"none."

However in our attempts to find these birds at Hayton
Reserve, Wylie Slough, and the North Fork Access, we had a great day out
birding and got a few interesting pictures. I have put our best shots in an
album called "Fir Island." The first 18 are from this last trip. The last
15 or so are from last year and I already shared them here on Tweeters.

When we arrived at Hayton Reserve at about 8:20 am it was
barely light enough to see because there were low clouds almost up to the
foothills. But sun was glinting under the clouds, illuminating hundreds of
Snow Geese and other waterfowl and shorebirds in front of us. I know these
birds are commonplace, but we had fun trying to get an interesting shot
anyway. Over at Wylie Slough, we failed to find the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper,
but did get some interesting shots of a Pectoral Sandpiper on a log with
Long-billed Dowitchers. More and more dowitchers kept showing up and, as
the log got crowded, the dowitchers started pecking on the PESA's head!
Finally the Pectoral Sandpiper disappeared. There are a few shots of these
birds. Finally out at the North Fork Access, which we had entirely to
ourselves, we found a Northern Shrike, a fairly reliable bird here. All
these and more are in the Flickr link below. I think I saw more dowitchers
at Hayton Reserve than I have ever seen at one time before. Hard to
estimate numbers.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/29258421@N07/albums/72157701301766265



Perhaps I should add that hunting season has started. When
we first arrived at Hayton Reserve, I thought we might have accidentally
stepped into a war zone. Shotgun blasts were reverberating around us. But
we weren't the target and by noon, most of the hunters had called it a day.
And another addendum, to see Hayton Reserve at its best, try to arrive a
couple hours before to a couple hours after high tide. At low tide it's a
vast desert.

All the best, Charlotte Byers, Edmonds

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