[Tweeters] Wiley Slough - Update

jimbetz at jimbetz.com jimbetz at jimbetz.com
Tue Oct 18 19:54:22 PDT 2022

Hi all,

Today I had time to actually walk out at Wiley Slough. I started at
the parking lot and walked all the way to the river (i.e. including
the short stretch of single track at the end.

I'd read about the brush cutting but I am still devastated by the
way the work has been done. The right side of the levee - from
the entrance gate at the parking lot all the way to the first
junction and then left all the way to just past the two little
side legs where the bench is - has been "trashed" (my words).
The large evergreen and several of the larger Alders have been
felled without even leaving a snag.
The good news is that beyond where the bench is and all the
way to the river is untouched (so far?). But by far the worst
news is that there are very few birds.

When I go to Wiley I usually skip over a lot of birds and not
report them ... simply because there are so many. Here's a link
to my eBird checklist for today ... today I reported "everything
I saw" (other than taking the time to accurately count the
blackbirds ... Brewers?).


The thing you need to understand is that this is all the birds I
saw/was able to identify ... in about 2 hours ... at Wiley.
A few of my sightings were probably repeats of the same bird (all
done as per eBird guidelines) the most notable of which is that
all the Bald Eagles I saw were quite probably the same bird. Of
particular note is that there were very few ducks and zero shore
birds of any kind (that I saw). I don't count GBH as a shorebird.
Also no swallows and no Marsh Wrens - and no insects compared to
"normal" for Wiley.
About the only positive was that there were some Harriers (again,
repeats possible/probable).

I was hearing Snow Geese over towards Hayton - but never got to
see any at Wiley this time. Often their ruckus was associated with
gun shots ... :=(
There were - distant - shotgun reports quite often ... probably
about two or three "sets" per hour. None particularly close to
Wiley and some clearly distant and off towards Stanwood.

I'll keep going back to Wiley ... every month or so ... but, for
now at least, it will not be a primary birding location for me for
this fall. If things change so will I.


I did see about 5000+ Snow Geese just East of Bradshaw Road and
South of Calhoun in two groups. I consider this 'important'
because it is the first time this fall that I've seen any Snows
that weren't on Fir Island. They were not particularly close to
the road but you could still hear them and see the small groups
getting up and moving a 100 yards or so just to settle down again.

In my wanderings getting to Fir I saw a slightly larger than normal
number of Redtailed Hawks ... probably 10 or more. A few Harriers
and Ravens - no Crows and since I was driving no Passerines. The
"blackbirds on the wires or in the bushes and trees along the road"
were typical ... high concentrations every mile or so.
I did not see any Bald Eagles other than the ones reported in
the checklist (which was at Wiley and possibly/probably the
same bird multiple times). I have heard that there are lots of
Eagles upriver where the fish are - surprise, surprise!

- Jim in Burlington

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