[Tweeters] Skagit Eur Coll Dove etc

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 16 12:10:47 PDT 2007

Dear Tweeters,

Veteran Skagit birder Bob Hamblin found a small flock
(4?) of Eurasian Collared Doves on the Skagit Flats a
few days ago. Howard Armstrong saw them on Friday, and
Bob Kuntz and I ticked the species on September 15.
These birds are frequenting some houses on the Calhoun
Road, just east of the Beaver Marsh Road, on the
Skagit Flats west of Mount Vernon. Bob Kuntz and I saw
just one of the birds yesterday, on the roof of a
gated house that has a big Araucaria tree and some
feeders, on the south side of Calhoun. The bird would
fly over toward the feeders, so the flock probably
feeding there. This area is east of a prominent bovine
establishment on Calhoun. I believe this is just the
second Skagit record, the first being a bird that
spent some time at Corkindale a summer or two ago, and
which was observed repeatedly by Jim Alt.

On Bob Kuntz's Skagit Audubon field trip to the Fir
Island Game Range yesterday, a dozen or so birders got
satisfactory looks at two or more BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT
HERONS, a species now reported only seldom in the
county. We actually had a three-heron day, with a nice
look at a flying Bittern and the usual GBHE's.

Participants also saw or heard some warblers. There
were several each of Yellow, Orange-crowned, and
Common Yellowthroat. Yellow-rumped were oddly lacking,
with only one or two found. I heard one Wilson's
Warbler singing. We also saw a Warbling Vireo, and
small numbers of Lincoln's and Golden-crowned
Sparrows, as well as a single Vaux's Swift flying with
Barn and Violet-green Swallows. I think somebody
glimpsed a Pacific-slope Flycatcher, or at least an
Empindonax, too.

Small numbers of American Pipits were here and there
on Fir Island. At Hayton Preserve were a few Killdeer,
Savannah Sparrows, and a grebe that was either a
Horned or Eared (bad light).

Someone on the field trip reported having seen a
Pectoral Sandpiper or two near Jensen Access recently,
as well as a small flock of Pacific-golden Plovers
near the Buff-breasted spot. Neither of these two
species were seen on Saturday on Fir Island, as far as
I know.

Shorebirds were few and far between a few Wilson's
Snipe flying over, a single Greater Yellowlegs
overhead, and some Killdeer elsewhere on Fir Island.
However, the five BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS were a nice
way to end the trip.

Finally, on a more mundane note, I think I have
"discovered" a reasonably good spot to look for birds
while killing time at SeaTac Airport. Along the ugly
strip of restaurants and airport motels on
International Boulevard is a cemetery. There are
narrow roadways and quite a few trees. Signs say "no
trespassing," but nobody bothered me--I think it's to
keep vagabonds out. Yesterday there were three
Red-shafted Flickers, some Bushtits and Black-capped
Chickadees, a lot of crows, a White-crowned Sparrow,
and so forth, all in the mid-afternoon. An ornamental
wetland looks like it might have some good birds in

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch

near Lyman (Skagit County), Washington

garybletsch at yahoo.com

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