[Tweeters] Sun. PM, Tacoma and Kent Ponds

Lynn Schulz linusq at worldnet.att.net
Sun Dec 4 23:27:33 PST 2005

Hi Tweets:
I headed to the Tacoma Tideflats Sunday afternoon (Dec 4), hoping to find a 
Snowy Owl down in that area.  No luck locating any owls down there, but 
there were about 30 BRANDT'S CORMORANTS out at the end of the Blair Waterway 
on the cement pilings out there.  It was high tide.  To reach that area, I 
took I-5 to exit 137 in Fife.  Then I headed north and stayed on that road 
as 64th becomes Taylor.  About 2.5 miles out, you can turn east on Lincoln 
for 2 blocks, then north on Alexander.  Out at the end of Alexander turn 
left to the water, turn right and park.  You can walk about and have a great 
view of Commencement Bay.  In the bay, I could see ducks, Mew Gulls, about 
100 Western Grebes, and a distant Red-throated Loon.  I have seen the same 
numbers (maybe up to 40) Brandt's Cormorants there in the summer too.
Later back in the Kent Valley, I dropped down at S 277th to view Smith Bros 
Dairy fields from West Valley.  Two Trumpeter Swans flew from the north, 
circled and then headed north again.  There was a truck (possible hunters) 
out in the field moving about.  I then headed north to Kent Ponds.  Viewing 
from the south tower was pretty quiet, and there was ice on a lot of the 
lagoon.  I walked east on the Powerline Trail, and viewed the north part of 
the lagoon that you can't see from the tower.  Two TRUMPETER SWANS were on 
the water.  I assume these were the same two I'd seen flying.  As I walked 
farther east on the trail, I looked north.  There was water that was open 
and unfrozen in what is called the constructed wetland.  Most of the ducks 
were over there including Amer. Wigeon, N Pintail, Green-winged Teal, 
Ring-necked Duck, N Shoveler, Common and Hooded Merganser, coots, P-b Grebe, 
and Mallard.  There was one Eurasian Wigeon.
There were Red-tailed Hawks, an adult female N Harrier, and two juv Cooper's 
Hawks in the area.  It was starting to get darker.  I drove around to the 
west side, and parked at the maintenance gate with my lights off.  At 4pm, 
just as my binocs were starting to fog up, the female harrier flew into a 
close perch by my truck.  Just then another large bird chased it away.  Then 
there were three birds flying out in the meadow.  At least one of the them 
was a SHORT-EARED OWL.  There may have been two owls, but the birds did not 
return for another view.
Yours, Carol Schulz

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