[Tweeters] Skagit/Samish Flats today

Diann MacRae tvulture at vei.net
Thu Feb 17 17:35:12 PST 2005

Hi, Tweets

Ann van der Geld and I spent the day wandering around the Samish and Skagit 
Flats, of course hoping for the gyr and anything else raptorial and goosey. 
With weather like today how could anything be bad! At the West 90, we set 
up scopes, looked around and counted eagles and harriers, retired to the 
car to eat lunch, out to check again, and then rather dejectedly drove out 
of the parking area . . . to be confronted by a gorgeous bird at the top of 
a utility pole!! I had no idea the gyr was so white - with proper gyr 
speckling, of course - but he sat there mostly ignoring us while we sat 
just under his pole. Now, I just hope my photos turn out!

As far as geese, I think the whole snow goose population was in the fields 
just where the bridge goes over the water as you leave Fir Island. A 
disinterested bald eagle was circling nearby and the geese were honking, 
flying back and forth, and putting on a wonderful show. I'm not sure what 
our winter snow goose population is, but there were well over 10,000 birds 
milling about. Great sounds!

Our rather sketchy tally for the day is:

Bald Eagle:  43+ adults, 45+ immatures
Redtail:  28+
Northern Harrier: 16 imm/females, 2 males, and perhaps more
Roughleg: 3
Gyrfalcon: 1
T Swans (too distant): 12
Snow Geese: 10,000+++
Ravens: 4
Ring-necked Pheasant: 1 male
Great Blue Heron: 200+
Dunlin off of Jensen's Access

Yes, there were lots of ducks and lots of LBJ's but we didn't spend a lot 
of time on them.
A really great day!

Cheers, Diann

Diann MacRae
Olympic Vulture Study
22622 - 53rd Avenue S.E.
Bothell, WA  98021
tvulture at vei.net

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