[Tweeters] Kent Ponds and Emerald Downs

Mason Flint masonflint at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 5 10:35:28 PST 2005

Lynn Schultz and I were watching some of the same birds from slightly
different locations at Kent Ponds!

While I "perched" on the South Tower looking at ice and not much else, Lynn
walked by and mentioned that she saw two Trumpeter Swans. I couldn't see
them from the tower so I walked east on the Powerline Trail hoping to get a
better angle. I didn't see the swans from there but I did see a good variety
of waterfowl including Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall, Ring-necked
Duck, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, one female Red-breasted Merganser,
Canada Geese and a Pied-billed Grebe.

I drove to the north side of the ponds where I could see the swans tucked
way in a corner of the big pond. From the north tower I saw Lynn parked in
front of the maintenance gate nearby. I watched a Harrier land just in front
of her truck before turning my attention back to the fields. Shortly
thereafter I saw one SE Owl flying low over the field. I'm sure that was one
of the owls Lynn saw. I didn't catch the other one. I did see the two Common
Mergansers out in the large pond which gave me a Merganser "trifecta" for
the day.

Earlier, I got skunked when looking for the American Redstart near Emerald
Downs. I spent about an hour looking for the bird but didn't see anything
except for Song Sparrows, a Fox Sparrow and a Kestrel perched near the bend
in the road. The Kestrel probably had something to do with the shyness of
the Redstart. :)

Mason Flint
Snoqualmie, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Lynn Schulz
Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2005 11:28 PM
To: Tweeters
Subject: [Tweeters] Sun. PM, Tacoma and Kent Ponds

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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