[Tweeters] Interesting flood gathering

Rob Sandelin floriferous at msn.com
Thu Jan 8 18:12:28 PST 2009

In the very flooded Snohomish valley today I stopped to watch a large
gathering of gulls. Just as I got my bins on them, they all flew and a mink
appeared and starting messing with something in the water, with the gulls
all yelling and circling just overhead. Within a couple of minutes the loud
circling crowd had attracted more gulls and a whole bunch of crows. There
must have been three hundred birds, all in the air circling and making
noise. The mink was obviously trying to move something into some nearby
brush and finally I saw that the prize was a very large fish, very silver,
probably a 15 pound or larger steelhead which was alive and giving off an
occasional splash. The mink would grab it and try to haul/swim over to some
brush but could not budge the fish. Several times I wished that I had my
scope because I could only guess that perhaps the fish was entangled with
fishing tackle but for whatever reason it was not moving. As I was leaving
all the nearby fence post tops, which were the only part of the fence above
water, each held a gull, waiting for the mink to leave.

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer, Teacher
Snohomish County, WA

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