[Tweeters] Elma Swans and Google Earth

hrudkaj mary hrudkajm at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 18 15:00:42 PST 2006

Just got back from birding out in the Elma area myself. Traffic wasn't too
bad on Hwy 12 when we stopped to check out the swans. We must have been
there for a good 5 minutes, pulled well off the road and with my foot on the
brake pedal all the time, just to make sure everyone could see my car.
Hazard flashers would have just made someone call the police to check to
make sure we weren't disabled.

The swans we saw were tundra. They were with a mixed flock of Canada and
Cackling geese and a lone Snow goose. Around the loops (Brady and
Shouweiler) most all the ponds are frozen but we did manage to find a lone
Black-bellied Plovers (probably wondering where its ice skates were), a
small flock of Least Sandpipers pecking at frozen ground around a puddle and
a lone American Pipit. Possibly because of the lack of shorebirds in that
area there were few raptors. Lots of scrub jays were found throughout our

We also found the Red-shouldered Hawk down on Independence Rd. right at the
county line. We missed it as we were south-bound but as we came back we
found the hawk on the south side of the road on a short post within 8-10
feet of the county line. It flew up and south into a tree and the flew
further southeast behind some houses. It is a beautiful little hawk and it
made the trip worth the time. The scenery down in that area is superb,
especially on this sunny day.

I too have lost time exploring the Google Earth program. My most recent use
was to explore the Okanogan area, following the trip descriptions for this
summer's WOS conference. I wanted to see what areas might be better than
others to bird or explore on my way there. Birders would find it useful for
recording bird sitings (using the place-marker) or for determining
elevations, etc when planning a birding trip here or anywhere. And being a
living-room geologist it has been interesting exploring this and other

Hope you all had a good day birding today...

Mary Hrudkaj
hrudkajm at hotmail.com
Belfair/N. Mason county

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