[Tweeters] King County Big Foot Day

Eugene and Nancy Hunn enhunn323 at comcast.net
Mon Apr 23 16:21:59 PDT 2007


A brief report of what may have been the first ever official King County Big Foot Day, Earth Day, April 22, 2007.

A Big Foot Day is a Big Day entirely on foot (though we cheated by catching a free bus from Ballard to the University of Washington, saving some time and boot leather).

Gene Hunn was joined by Scott Ramos, Jeremy Victor, and Clair X [last name not recorded], and Brien Meilleur. We left a vehicle at the Museum of History and Industry at 4:00 AM, then met at the north lot at Discovery Park at 4:30 AM for some owling. We heard an up-close but invisible Barred Owl along the loop trail and were visited by a Barn Owl over the parade ground.

We then birded Discovery Park and the Ballard Locks from 6 AM until 11:30, stopped for a late brunch at the LockSpot before bussing to the UW. We spent the PM along the Montlake Cut and the Fill, finishing up at Foster Island about 5:30. We didn't so much run out of time and energy (though we were running low on that for sure) but ran out of birds. We had 89 by 3 PM.

Our total of 90 was ten shy of my overly ambitious goal of 100. We watched a Cooper's Hawk building a nest at Discovery Park and finished with Cliff Swallows nesting under the 520 bridge. As usual, there were bizarre misses, in our case in particular no Dark-eyed Juncos nor Ruby-crowned Kinglets!

The key to an urban Big Foot Day would seem to be good salt water shoreline and freshwater habitats for waterfowl. Nearly 40 of our 90 species were waterbirds of one sort or another. Also key is extensive, diverse woodland and meadow habitats.

We hiked about 10 miles and celebrated the end of the line with beer and pizza at the Good Time. Our bus was electric powered so we burned no fossil fuels. One hundred species is certainly possible, as we were nearly skunked on shorebirds (just a few Killdeers and one flushed snipe).

Gene Hunn
18476 47th Pl NE
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155
enhunn323 at comcast.net

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