Searching for the Falcated Duck

Ruth Sullivan godwit at
Fri Feb 22 19:00:51 PST 2002

Hello Tweets,

Today my mother and I extensively searched for the FALCATED DUCK(Falcated
Teal)along with other birders from 7:45am-3:15pm north and west of the West
90 on the Samish Flats in Skagit Co. at both of the locations where the bird
was observed yesterday as well as additional locations in the vicinity, but
the bird could not be relocated. The weather consisted of constant moderate
to steady rain and wind at times, but many birders continued their search of
the many flooded and grassy fields in search of the Falcated Duck as good
numbers of waterfowl persisted including nearly equal numbers of Am.Wigeon
and Northern Pintails, with lesser numbers of Eurasian Wigeon,
Am.Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, and Common Teal(Eurasian
Green-winged Teal). I(Patrick)walked out over the vast flooded portions of
the West 90 "ponds" area for added searching, as many flock of waterfowl
congregated in this area. Although the bird was not seen today it is
probably still present and may require even more searching, as the waterfowl
flocks move around greatly from field to field and some flocks may be more
concealed than others. Today during our visit an adult Peale's Peregrine
Falcon captured a unknown duck species, then a group of 9 Bald Eagles came
in to steal the duck and share the meal between them.

Despite the wet weather my mother and I encountered a few notable species
including the following:

1 adult Black-crowned Night Heron at the traditional heron roost along Fir
Island at 7:15am and 3:45pm.

Samish Flats, West 90 "ponds",Samish Island Rd. 7:15am-3:30pm

4 male Common Teal(2 at the extreme south end of Samish Bay observed from
the Samish Bay dike,1 at the West 90 "ponds", 1 at the the base of Samish
Island in flooded fields)
2 male Common Teal/Am.Green-winged Teal hybrids(1 observed from the Samish
Bay dike, 1 at the West 90 "ponds")
65+ Eurasian Wigeons(60+ males,5 females)
5 Rough-legged Hawks(4 light-morph birds, 1 dark-morph bird)
1 female Taiga Merlin
2 adult Peale's Peregrine Falcons
1 immature dark-morph GYRFALCON(observed from the West 90 "ponds" perched
atop the rocky dike)
78 Black-bellied Plovers
2800+ Dunlin
1 Short-eared Owl(West 90 ponds)
16 Savannah Sparrows(observed in the brsuhy vegetated canal edges at the
West 90 ponds)
2 Lincoln's Sparrows
14 LAPLAND LONGSPURS(heard and seen flying over the West 90 ponds)
75+ Western Meadowlarks

Good birding,

Rutha nd Patrick Sullivan

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