[Tweeters] Swans and Highway 9

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Tue Jan 2 06:26:35 PST 2007

Since I live only a few minutes from this location I would also like to add
that I heard over party conversations with some neighbors some negative
reactions to the "idiot bird watchers" who are blocking traffic. I would
like to think this is not a common public reaction, but I have seem some
people do some unwise things in their obsession to see a bird. Remember,
most people do not share our obsession, some even think its really weird,
and large gatherings have an impact on the people who live where the birds
are we want to see.

So while I have not read any negative letters in the local paper yet, I
would guess that The WSP is not the only set of people displeased with this
activity. This email list of course provides a duel edged sword, providing
exact locations to specific birds of interest. Perhaps some thought about
impacts of 200 birders on a location might go into your thoughts before you
post a specific location. There are places where accommodating large groups
are easy, there are others where it is not. Of course there is also a strong
desire to share and validate our sightings. How to balance this, with the
impacts of the hundreds of birders who show up for rarities, is obviously
going to be an ongoing conversation we should all continue.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, teacher
South Snohomish County, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Carol
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 3:43 PM
To: Tweeters
Subject: [Tweeters] Swans and Highway 9

Hi Tweets,

A second day of scoping the fields south of Snohomish, and starting an hour
and a half earlier, did not yield the Whooper Swan. I didn't talk to anyone
else who had seen it. The Elliot Road location yielded only one young
Trumpeter Swan. Our last try along Highway 9, where the largest
congregation was, resulted in a Washington State Patrol vehicle pulling up
with its lights flashing. The officer was polite, but made it clear that
WSP had reached the end of its rope with birders pulling off Highway 9 to
scan the flock. He said it was causing traffic problems (it wasn't but one
doesn't argue with uniforms). He suggested scanning that flock from Lowell
Road. I replied that Lowell Road has no shoulders so stopping cars along
that road would impede traffic and be illegal. So, just be careful of any
further scoping from along Highway 9. WSP is displeased with our activity.

Regarding first birds of 2007, mine also was a Varied Thrush. I've had a
female frequenting the feeder station in my yard for the last week. She was
huddled on the ground just before daybreak and I watched from the window
until she started moving around, scratching in the bark and sunflower seeds.

Carol Riddell

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