[Tweeters] Samish flats by bicycle

B & P Bell bellasoc at isomedia.com
Fri Dec 17 09:47:39 PST 2004


MessageHi Jack and Tweets

About three times last year when I was out on the Samish Flats and at the West 90 there were numerous Short-eared Owls around. One time we counted at least 15 in the air in scanning from the mound just south of the parking lot. When we were out there a week and a half ago, the area south of the parking lot had many hunters in it - I suspect that had much to do with our not seeing owls although it didn't seem to bother the Northern Harriers. The other thing I noticed is that the corn and grasses in the area are much higher this year than previously (it has generally been cut in the past). 

Probably worth continuing to notice the relative numbers of owls reported from the area this winter.

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA
bellasoc at isomedia.com
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jack Stephens 
  To: Tweeters 
  Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 6:39 AM
  Subject: [Tweeters] Samish flats by bicycle


  I spent a couple of hours yesterday bicycling around the Samish flats. For anyone with any interest, I would highly recommend it as a more intimate way of experiencing one of the best winter birding spots around. It is fun to coast past those raptor on telephone poles while they glower down at you; as long as you keep moving you can pass at a walking pace without causing them to fly. Of course you don't cover as much ground as in a car, and I did miss having a scope, but the chest strap for the bins worked well, drivers were courteous, and there were no hills because it is, after all, flat. There were no Gyrs around, but the west 90 lived up to it's reputation with HARRIERS, BALD EAGLE, RED-TAILLED HAWK, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK, and SHORT-EARED OWL all visible at one time from the parking lot. It was nice to see the owls, they seem to have been on a decline over the past several years. Does anyone have any data to support that impression? They were a group of 4 flying well above tree level south of the west 90 parking lot, not sure what they were doing up there. Other highlights were a huge raft of DUNLIN off of Bayview-Edison Road (on the bike you can hear their wings as they fly in and out) and a large group of TUNDRA and TRUMPETER SWANS at the intersection of T-Loop and Farm-to-Market Road. As Marv Breese would say "It was a good day".

  Jack Stephens
  Edmonds, WA
  jstephens62 at comcast.net


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