[Tweeters] Wiley Slough - Update

Philip Dickinson pdickins at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 22:14:10 PDT 2022

Our Pilchuck Audubon group also visited Wiley Slough today. None of us is
happy with the clearing of trees and shrubs between the dike and the
slough.Most significantly, we fear for next year's breeding populations
that have utilized the cleared area in the past. However, our count of
shorebirds from the dike trail on the morning rising tide was 6 Greater
Yellowlegs, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, about 30 Long-billed Dowitchers, 9
Killdeer and 10 Wilson's Snipe. So there are shorebirds at the right time.
Despite the fog and haze,we also heard and saw lots of Snow Geese
overhead. We saw about 40 species at Wylie (including Marsh Wrens)..

Phil Dickinson

On Tue, Oct 18, 2022 at 7:54 PM <jimbetz at jimbetz.com> wrote:

> 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?).


> https://ebird.org/checklist/S120915871


> 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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