Falcated Duck today

Ruth Sullivan godwit at worldnet.att.net
Sat Mar 2 19:36:10 PST 2002

Hello Tweets,

My mother and I observed the male FALCATED DUCK this morning at it's regular
morning feeding spot at the base of Samish Island at 8:30am-8:35am, then
from 8:57am-10:03am, which was viewed and well observed by up to 40
observers during our stay,util it flew off over the dike into Padilla Bay.
The lighting with the sun to our backs was excellent in both binocula and
spotting scope views,as the bird foraged loosely as well as in a large flock
of Am.Wigeon with approxiatemetly 60+ Eurasian Wigeon mixed in, and lesser
numbers of Am.Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail,and Northern Shoveler. The
bird was NOT relocated after searching the dike further south accessed from
the West 90 ponds parking lot, as many of the large wigeon flocks were quite
far out in Padilla Bay with the falling tide. Many observers walked the dike
from the West 90 parking lot, as it offers great viewing of Padilla Bay and
waterfowl,when tide conditions are favorable. Perhaps the duck was noted
this evening at some point,but it seems most reliable from the base of
Samish Island in the morning between 8:30-10am in the partially flooded
fields, but this schedule may vary the longer the bird remains. We still
advise checking this location first,before doing any checking from the West
90 dike access, as many of the ducks come in directly from Padilla Bay just
over the dike then graze and forage in the fields at the base of the island.

We arrived at the base of Samish Island at 7:15am,where we were joined by 3
other birders then more birders arrived after 8am until the bird was first
seen at 8:30am for a brief but quality 5 minute observation, then it flew
off over the dike,only to reappear at 8:57am when the bird came back and was
viewed by many until 10:03am,when the entire flock of Am.Wigeon flew off off
over the dike,with only small numbers remaining. During our visit we
observed a few additional species of note at the base of Samish Island Rd.

1 immature Cooper's Hawk
1 adult Tundra Peregrine Falcon
2 WILD TURKEYS(released)
1 Violet-green Swallow

At 10:45am a fairly extensive walk of the dike at the West 90 "ponds"
produced rather poor viewing of many of the waterfowl offshore in Padilla
Bay, but a few highlights were noted including:

87+ Black Brant
4 Rough-legged Hawks
1 Peregrine Falcon
1 Violet-green Swallow
3 Yellow-rumped Warblers
18 Savannah Sparrows
2 Lincoln's Sparrows

On our way home my mother and I stopped by the Skagit WRA, while noting a
single fly over California Quail at the intersection of Best and McLean
Roads. A fairly extensive walk along the west loop trail at the Skagit WRA
from 1:45pm-3:50pm produced a few notable highlights to mention including:

1 female Taiga Merlin
48+ Tree Swallows
2 Violet-green Swallows
6 Barn Swallows
1 immature Northern Shrike
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
2 Lincoln's Sparrows
40 Common Redpolls(observed in Red Alders just north of the intersection of
the south trail loop)

Good birding,

Ruth and Patrick Sullivan
GODWIT@ worldnet.att.net

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