[Tweeters] Snowy Owls at Big Ditch

Marv Breece mbreece at earthlink.net
Sat Mar 18 05:56:07 PST 2006

Yesterday (3.17.06) MaryFrancis Mathis and I looked for SNOWY OWLS in Snohomish and Skagit counties. An early afternoon effort at Big Ditch produced nothing. Hayten and Jensen Access (Fir Island) were null and void of snowies as well. Even the North Fork Access on Fir Island was a big dipper. No snowies so far.

Late in the afternoon another effort at Big Ditch rewarded us with 6 SNOWY OWLS. The tide was higher than during our previous visit. I am convinced that tide is a factor in trying to locate Snowy Owls at Big Ditch. When the tide is in, there are fewer places to perch low within the driftwood, out of sight. High tide forces the owls onto higher, more visible perches. I would not apply this thought to the aforementioned locations; only Big Ditch (in north Snohomish County; north of Stanwood).

Other birds of the day were 30-50 each of AMERICAN PIPIT and WESTERN MEADOWLARK at the North Fork. Some of the meadowlarks were singing. Also, a male and a female SHORT-EARED OWL put on a show at North Fork.

A young PEREGRINE FALCON worked a flock of DUNLIN at Big Ditch with a NORTHERN HARRIER occasionally getting into the act.

Couldn't find a blue goose within the large flock of SNOW GEESE at Hayten.

It was a good day.

Marv Breece
Seattle, WA

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