[Tweeters] Short-eared Owl, White-tailed Kites highlight sightings at Julia Butler Hansen NWR

Rob McNair-Huff rob at mail.whiterabbits.com
Fri Nov 23 23:12:18 PST 2007

Natalie and I took advantage of a warm and sunny afternoon in Southwest
Washington with a visit to the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife
Refuge for the Columbia White-tailed Deer. The biggest highlight of the
day was an extreme close-up view of a SHORT-EARED OWL on a fence post
near the intersection of Brooks Slough Road and Highway 4. We took many
photos out the passenger side window as the owl watched us watching it.

Besides the owl, we noted 47 species during our short birding jaunt. We
especially enjoyed seeing three WHITE-TAILED KITES after striking out on
attempts to see this species over the last couple of years. At one point
we observed two kites sitting on the same branch of a bush in the middle
of the inner field as seen from the roadway along the Columbia River.

Here is the list of species we found today:

- American Crow
- European Starling
- Black-capped Chickadee
- Canada Goose
- Cackling Goose
- Mallard
- Great Blue Heron
- Peregrine Falcon
- Song Sparrow
- Bufflehead
- Green-winged Teal
- Northern Harrier
- Bald Eagle
- American Wigeon
- Northern Shoveler
- Trumpeter Swan (6)
- Tundra Swan (4)
- Fox Sparrow (2, including one Sooty)
- Western Scrub Jay
- Steller's Jay
- Spotted Towhee
- Northern Flicker
- White-tailed Kite (3)
- Greater Scaup
- Gadwall
- Belted Kingfisher
- Double-crested Cormorant
- Common Merganser
- Winter Wren
- Marsh Wren
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet
- Golden-crowned Kinglet
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Red-tailed Hawk
- American Kestrel
- Northern Pintail
- Red Crossbill (12)
- Hooded Merganser
- Pied-billed Grebe
- House Finch
- Golden-crowned Sparrow (27)
- American Robin
- Purple Finch
- Short-eared Owl
- Common Raven
- Green-winged Teal
- Glaucous-winged Gull
- Herring Gull

We also did a quick drive around the southern end of Puget Island in the
middle of the Columbia River and added a few more species to our list
for the day:

- Brewer's Blackbird
- Red-winged Blackbird
- Mourning Dove

Happy birding!

Rob McNair-Huff ---------- Tacoma, WA
Author of Washington Disasters (Globe Pequot, 2006), Birding Washington
(Falcon Publishing, 2004)
and Insider's Guide to the Olympic Peninsula (Globe Pequot, 2001)
Mac Net Journal ---------- http://www.macnetjournal.com

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