[Tweeters] martins, falcons, plover Skagit

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sun Jul 17 11:12:16 PDT 2005

Dear Tweeters,

On July 16, while looking for Semipalmated Plovers in
Bayview, I saw two Purple Martins. Then I looked down
on the tideflat below the game preserve and saw what
looked like some nest boxes. This is north of Bayview
State Park, and south of the private duck club
stretch. It was good to see that one needn't always go
out to Anacortes ferry landing to see Purple Martins
in Skagit County.

While looking for the plovers, I heard a ruckus above,
and looked up to see the martins chasing an adult
peregrine. Then I realized why all the shorebirds down
there were acting so quiet. Eventually I did see two
Semipalmated Plovers crouching in the mudflat.

The Peregrine was my second falcon of the day; there
had been an American Kestrel near the West Ninety.
Later on, at home, a Merlin flew over my house,
followed by about a hundred angry starlings. I don't
recall ever seeing three Falcos in one day in July
before. It pays to be lucky.

By the way, the best shorebirding spot of the day was
between Edison and West Edison, along a brackish
channel where some thickets have been removed with
earthmoving equipment. Now there is a nice, wide
pullout (muddy, though). It is easy to park there and
look over the remnant of thicket into the channel
there now. Yesterday, there were Western, Least, and
Semipalmated Sandpipers there, with  Killdeer, Greater
Yellowlegs, and an LB Dowitcher. 

Out at the West Ninety, I bumped into Steve Mlodinow,
and allowed him to drag me around to some of the
distant ponds, spots I had never gotten around to
before. We ventured out beyond the "Gyrfalcon post,"
and got to see a Lesser Yellowlegs with a Greater
Yellowlegs out on one of those far ponds--thanks,

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch

near Lyman (Skagit County), Washington

garybletsch at yahoo.com

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