[Tweeters] a genuine Skagit Nothern Goshawk!

Anthony G. birds at ocbirds.com
Sun Dec 27 15:00:00 PST 2020

just refound the Northern Goshawk on Dry Slough Rd. here are the coordinates

48.28766,-122.35675 about 60 feet up

near 20310 dry slough road

Have photos and seen in scope with graham Hutchison

On December 26, 2020 5:22:28 PM PST, Gary Bletsch <garybletsch at yahoo.com> wrote:

>Dear Tweeters,

>Thanks again to Kendall Van Zanten for getting the word out about the

>Northern Goshawk that he found on Fir Island on Christmas Eve!

>After Joel Brady-Power called me to say that he'd relocated the bird

>today, December twenty-sixth, I "skipped seventh-period study hall," so

>to speak, and raced down to Fir Island. That is to say, I quit my

>Christmas Bird Count at 1500, to go look for the Goshawk. Luckily, it

>was a very slow afternoon on the CBC, so Joel had done the same thing!

>Joel saw the bird from the "Moore Road Access" on Fir Island. That is

>the little WDFW access on Moore Road, just a few hundred meters from

>the North Fork bridge--the bridge between Fir Island and Rexville. I

>think that the tree where Joel saw it was close to the one where

>Kendall had seen it two days ago. 

>By the time I got there this afternoon, the bird was gone. Joel said it

>had flown east. Bob Kuntz drove down from his CBC area and joined me in

>a two-car search. We drove Polson Road, where the bird had been seen by

>Kendall and then Joel, but had no success. We then took Dry Slough Road

>north, then took a right and headed east on Moore Road.

>Unfortunately, Bob and I could not find the bird, so we said goodbye,

>and Bob drove off. I took a few minutes to change out of my

>cold-weather gear, for the drive home, and then headed east on Moore,

>only to slam on the brakes! The Goshawk was perched in the top of a

>tree on the side of the road, just a short distance from Moore Road's

>eastern terminus! This tree is in the front yard of the old Skagit City

>Schoolhouse. The house next door is a good landmark--it has many

>Christmas decorations. The lady of the house told me that she's seen

>this bird around her place recently, and had wondered what it was. 

>That was the same story that Joel had heard from a landowner on Polson

>Road. There are several places in the Skagit City area where people

>have free-range chickens. I suspect that this Goshawk will stick

>around, the way one was said to have done on Samish Flats years ago,

>eating a chicken a day until there were no more left--if I remember the

>story right.

>After I snapped a few bad photos of the Goshawk, a Northern Harrier

>came by and started harassing it. The Goshawk took off and flew due

>south, toward what I suspect is its sleeping quarters. There on Polson,

>just east of its junction with Dry Slough Road, there is a natural

>hill--the only natural bit of elevation on Fir Island. The eastern end

>of this hill has a grove of dense conifers. 

>A good strategy for birders tomorrow would be to work "Skagit

>City"--the entire northern quadrant of Fir Island, everything north and

>east of Polson Road. One tactic is to scope from the Moore Road Access;

>another is to drive the roads until you find the bird. Good luck to any

>and all birders attempting to relocate this rare, frustratingly

>transient bird!

>One more thing--I think that this adult Goshawk is a female. It is a

>big, bit bird. Joel and I agreed that it would probably kick a

>Red-tailed Hawk's keister, if push came to shove. One would be far more

>likely to confuse it with a Buteo, or perhaps with a Gyrfalcon, than

>with a Cooper's Hawk or Northern Harrier.

>Yours truly,

>Gary Bletsch

Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
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