[Tweeters] Samish albinistic vulture

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 20 18:55:36 PDT 2008

Dear Tweeters,,

Today in the rain, I spotted a partially albinistic Turkey Vulture. It was perched on a piling along Alice Bay (Samish Flats, Skagit County). Actually, there were two TUVU's out there; one had lots of white feathering on head and back, and the other may have had a bit of white on the head. Visibility was ruddy horrid in the rain. A partial albino TUVU has been reported by other observers in the Colony area recently, so perhaps I saw this same individual. A few years ago, a pure white TUVU was found somewhere in the upper Skagit Valley, so perhaps there are some pale genes floating about in the old pool.

At Samish Island were about 30 Bonaparte's Gulls, 25 Common Loons, and a few each of Western and Horned Grebe, Harlequin Duck, Mew Gull, and Pigeon Guillemot. There was also one White-winged Scoter.

Fir Island was crawling with Savannah Sparrows, with a few pipits. I saw a possible Vesper Sparrow, too--a sparrow-like bird with white outer tail feathers that flew from the roadside with a mixed sparrow flock, and disappeared into some thick foliage of a cucumber crop. I don't think a pipit would have dodged into such heavy cover, but perhaps one might in a pinch.

Violet-green Swallows and Common Yellowthroats appeared here and there, making their last stand up here. I reckon next weekend we'll be running very low on migratory passerines.

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch   Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA   garybletsch at yahoo.com    

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