[Tweeters] 4/28 Wiley Slough and more

Rob Cash cash at whidbey.net
Sat Apr 29 11:38:27 PDT 2006

It was beautiful weather, warm but with a cooling
breeze all afternoon.

A Virginia Rail flew across Wiley Slough and crash
landed in the reeds - this was near the control pipe at
the dike junction. I waited to see if it would move and
it apparently was spooked by my presence because after
about ten seconds it burst out and winged its way west.

A Greater Yellowlegs probed the mud inches into the
water in the slough on the other side.

Further down the slough, two male Wood Ducks and one
female paddled amicably. Further yet another pair
whistled up when I disturbed them.

A Hairy Woodpecker rustled through the willows near the
west parking lot along with Yellow-rumped Warblers. Two
Golden-crowned Sparrows and three White-crowned
Sparrows gleaned together along the dike.

There were also eagles, harriers, GB herons, and
hundreds of swallows, mostly Tree Swallows.

Last Tuesday at Hayton access, lots of Green-winged
Teal probed the mud as one Northern Pintail
majestically glided toward the mouth of the slough. A
Greater Yellowlegs worked its way along the bank. A
great many swallows circled overhead but I couldn't tell
what they were. I scanned the recently plowed field but
missed the Short-eared Owl until it flew up.

The week before, Bob Crew and I had a great trip to
Malheur. The Snowgeese flocks were still there (though
not on Fir Island or around Stanwood when I got back)
along with lots of Sandhill Cranes and Long-billed
Curlew. A Great Egret fished in a stream near the road
and got one as we watched. A Cattle Egret fished along
a different stretch. There were lots of ducks and
shorebirds, but few songbirds yet. We did see a Say's
Phoebe at the round barn, which was flooded. The valley
has had 140% of normal precipitation and water was
flowing over the road just east of Burns on our first
morning out.

One highlight was a Ruddy Duck pair. The female
disappeared into the reeds and the male had backed up
into the edge. Three Coots were displaying their white
hind-end spots toward the Ruddy male, which then
started his own display of head bobbing and rigidly
erect tail in the air, showing his own white spot.

Rob Cash
Camano Island

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