[Tweeters] Skagit birds

jeff gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Fri Oct 24 10:08:02 PDT 2008

Stopped by the Skagit WRA headquarters area briefly yesterday in late afternoon. I'd also been there two days before and enjoyed all of the subtle nature sounds in the woods along the river as evening fell. Yesterday though I was surprised to hear loud warbler song as soon as I walked down the dike ! I thought I was having a flashback of the May woods full of Wilson Warbler song. But something just was'nt quite right - and then it dawned on me 'hey this is a bird recording ! I'll bet its birders looking for that Waterthrush in here'. And sure enough, just across the wet swale there were two birders with their tape recorder playing the Waterthrush loop.

I was pretty excited - this was a Lifer experience for me - my first ever identification of a Bird Recording in the field! Actually I'd listened to a online recording of the Waterthrush myself last week as I'm not familiar with it's sound - it is pretty close to a Wilsons.

Having been fooled, however briefly, I felt perfectly justified to spy on the birders from the shrubbery as they sought their elusive bird. I thought I might horn in on the action and see the thing myself. Alas the recording apparently did'nt work - at least I did'nt hear any halleluyahs , and the birders soon left with their sound equipment. I was unable to identify the birders - I don't know hardly any. Maybe I'd meet more if I was'nt so busy spying on them from the bushes. I guess we all have our own ways of enjoying nature.

I stuck around for awhile, just standing still in the 'quiet' - actually the place was full of sounds: the slow croak of cold chorus frogs, blackbird beeps, chinking Towhees, scrabbling Woodpeckers, and many other mystery sounds. I always like a bit of mystery.

My 'quiet approach' did'nt reveal any Waterthrush though.

The last few days have brought thousands of Snow Geese to the Hayton Farm access area, and on the last two stops there I also saw 75 - 100 Cackling Geese mixed in with the Snows - they looked especially 'minimal' compared to the larger Snows. Also enjoyed watching a Peregrine as it zipped low across the expanse of field, and on a distant hedgerow saw the first Rough-legged Hawk I've seen this season.

Jeff Gibson, Everett WA
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