[Tweeters] Raptor and geese viewing (l0ng)

Alan Roedell alanroedell at gmail.com
Fri Jan 22 19:10:37 PST 2021

Hi Tweets,
Wendy and I headed North yesterday to check out the hawk situation. First
we got off I-5 at exit 192 to watch the Elm tree at Federal and Market for
sapsuckers. We quickiy tired of that and got back on the freeway, exiting
towards Sylvana and Stanwood. We usually see Kestrels along the way, but
not today..Lots of Eagles and Redtails and the odd Harrier. We passed up
Thomle Road which has been reliable for Merlins the last few weeks, hoping
for Snow Geese flocks. We passed through Stanwood and turned North on 102nd
towards the Big Ditch. Before we got there we stopped to photograph a
flock of !000+ Snow Geese on the left.. they seemed quite naive and some
individuals came within 20 yards of the car. Driving on through Conway we
stopped at Hayton Reserve for a Restroom break. Very clean.
Our real object was to scour the North part of Fir Island where some have
seen a Gyrfalcon and a Northern Goshawk. We scoured Moore, Polson and Dry
Slough roads looking for them. We were not lucky. We did see a very large
flock of Snow geese taking off and wheeling around near Maupin Road.
We always try to get to Bayview Edison before dusk in hopes of seeing
Short-eared Owls and we were pleased to see several of them in action and
perched near the East 90. As it got darker we went toward the West 90 ans
and saw our first Rough-legged hawk this year as well as a male Kestrel
perched on a cable with a vole dangling from its talons. It was a big plump
vole and the Kestrel may have been waiting till dark before taking it home
to eat. The eagles are formidable around there.
Just an ordinary day, but it felt good to get out of the city. Alan
Roedell, Seattle
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