[Tweeters] No YB Loon, but Humpback Whale at Rosario, etcetera

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 15 18:37:22 PST 2020

Dear Tweeters,
Today, the fifteenth of December, several birders tried to relocate the Yellow-billed Loon that John Pushcock found yesterday at Rosario Head in Skagit County. As far as I know, nobody succeeded today. However, Matt Kennedy and I had good looks at a big whale that was spouting and fluking offshore. After consulting some field guides, I am confident that it was a Humpback Whale. That was the first one that I'd seen from Rosario Head.
I reckon the rarest bird that I saw today was a hybrid drake that was with a flock of Mallards and American Wigeon near the Lutheran Church on Samish Flats. I will have to check my photos to see if any of them came out; this might have been a "Brewer's Duck," or Mallard X Gadwall--but I don't know much about hybrid birds. Unfortunately, it was getting dark at the time, so the photos are probably not too good.
I paid a visit to the public boat launch at Campbell Lake today. The site had been closed earlier this fall, with some sort of construction going on. Today I saw the results. There is a fancy new toilet, a small picnic shelter, pavement over part of the parking area, and a nice little dock that extends far enough over the lake to give better views than were possible before. On the negative side, the wonderfully bird-rich brush line that used to run all along the western side of the access road has been obliterated. There are now some scrawny little plants in there, presumably a native planting to replace the blackberries and other brush that were there before. It will be interesting to see if this part of the site will have as many birds as the old brush-line did. I have my doubts.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch
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