[Tweeters] Big Ditch and Skagit

MaryFrances Mathis mf.mathis at verizon.net
Wed Dec 8 10:04:17 PST 2004


Yesterday, Brian Bell led a Seattle Audubon trip to the Skagit.  As his
computer is down, he asked me to post.

Our first stop was at the Big Ditch, to look for the reported SNOWY OWL.
Although we were successful, it was less than a “quality” view
after a half
mile walk out on the dike in the cold and wind, we were able to scope a VERY
distant white blob atop some driftwood.  Size, shape, color, location, and
the fact that it occasionally moved, let us know it really was a Snowy, but
to say it was unsatisfying is a major understatement.  Also, on our walk
along the dike, we flushed an AMERICAN BITTERN.

>From there, we went to the Game Range (very little activity) and then to the
Samish Flats.  At the West 90, we found the GYRFALCON perched on a wire, and
got good looks before he took off over the fields.  It looked like he was on
his way to grab another meal from some Northern Harriers, but the tables
were turned, and 4 or 5 Harriers started mobbing him.  He retreated to a
tree, where they continued pestering him for a few minutes.

On Samish Island, we scoped the Bay and were rewarded with loons (PACIFIC,
(LONG-TAILED, among others).

For the day, 63 species, but some notable misses:  our only falcon was the
Gyr; no Short-eared Owls (has anyone seen any?); and very few sparrows.

MaryFrances Mathis

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