[Tweeters] NW Tacoma - Sat, Dec 20

Lynn & Carol Schulz linusq at worldnet.att.net
Sun Dec 21 20:02:42 PST 2008

Hi Tweeters:
Tahoma Audubon Society did their CBC on Sat, Dec 20. Our section, Area 2 is the NW
part of Tacoma. It includes the tideflats, a little sliver of King Cnty in southern
Federal Way, and the Puyallup River including Gog-le-hi-te Wetland. I'm reporting
for our area only, as I didn't attend the tally dinner, due to a snowstorm rolling
The weather had been cold, there is about 6 inches of snow on the ground, the roads
are snow and ice, the winds were high in the east part of the area, so a number of
our Area 2 bird counters had to cancel. Those few of us who did the count found it
to be a cold day, but nice for birds. And there was a theme. Lots of big white
birds in our area!
Dave Adams lives in our count area. He saw the Tacoma MUTE SWAN. He sees it almost
every day. It hangs out at the Crow's Nest Marina, which is located at the bottom of
the hwy 509 hill, where the highway it comes down to Commencement Bay from Brown's
Point. Dave says this swan flies very well, but acts tame. A lady in the marina
feeds it cracked corn.
Several of our CBCer's saw different groups of SNOW GEESE in the count circle in
south King County and in Pierce Cnty. (In Pierce County, Snow Goose is an abundance
code 4 (rare) per the WA Birder Checklist of April, 2008.) Roger Orness was at
Gog-le-hi-te on the Puyallup River in the tide flats, when a group of 33 SNOW GEESE
flew up the river and landed right in front of him, where they huddled together. At
the same time, Adele Freeland reported 45 SNOW GEESE flying over their group at a low
altitude in Federal Way. Hans Feddern reported a V of 20 SNOW GEESE flying in the
count area in Fed Way at 12:15. Then at 2:50, he saw a V of 100 flying overhead, and
about 85 of those entered the area of the count circle. Here is what Hans had to say
in his email report. "Seems somebody at the Skagit Valley put out the word to get
the heck
out of Dodge! Since most of them are from Wrangell Island, the command
must have been in Russian: "Dawai!"
They must have been hard pressed for food. The wigeon flocks around
here certainly were stressed today and after the new snow, may need to
move too."
Several of the folks in Area 2 reported large SWAN SPECIES flying, presumably
Trumpeter Swans. Our party saw about 30 swan spp flying up the Puyallup River.
An interesting sight for my group was at Brown's Point Lighthouse Park. There is one
large fir tree in the big grassy slope. First a N Flicker flew in and probed and
probed in one area of the lower trunk. A while later a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER flew
in and started tapping at holes a little farther up the trunk. A male ANNA'S
HUMMINGBIRD flew in and started harrassing the Sapsucker. Then another RED-BREASTED
SAPSUCKER flew in and started tapping right next to the first one. The hummingbird
continued to fly about. Unlike Andrea W's dueling Sapsuckers in an earlier post
today, these two Sapsuckers acted like friends. Adele Freeland saw 5 ANNA'S
HUMMINGBIRDS flying toward the south in Federal Way.
The snow continues to fall. I shoveled 5-6 inches of snow w/ a breakable
crust today here in Des Moines. Now it looks like about 4 more inches has fallen,
and it is still falling. Will it never end?

Yours, Carol Schulz
Des Moines, WA
linusq at att.net

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