[Tweeters] Spencer Island , Everett

jeff gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Fri Mar 6 19:16:11 PST 2009

I was just out on Spencer Island in Everett and saw some interesting and beautiful things. I had a hankering to hear some frogs ,as I live in urban Everett where there aint too many. And there were a few Pacific Treefrogs croaking, Redwing Blackbirds and Marsh Wrens singing, and other nice marsh sounds going on. Very nice.

I was watching a female Marsh Hawk thru my binos, when an adult Bald Eagle zoomed into my field of view in the background - on a real power-dive. I presumed it was after some ducks - which scattered all over at its approach- but it ignored them ,and hovering briefly, dropped straight down to a patch of water in the marsh. Soon it came up with a shiny dark brown item in it's beak, and flying on transferred it's catch to it's talons. It could've been a fish but to me it looked just the size and color of a big Northwestern Salamander( Ambystoma gracile ), which would be breeding about now. It was cool to see that big Eagle handle such a small thing with that much grace. Impressive that it could see and nab such a small creature at that speed.

Which brought to mind another amazing observation I had last spring up in Friday Harbor. I was walking up the dock at the marina there, when I noticed a Kingfisher. It was'nt too hard to notice as it was making a ton of noise and repeatedly diving over and over again in rapid succession. After all that fuss, it dropped down to the water on a long glide - about fifty feet, only an inch or two above the mirror smooth water. Then suddenly , wham ! - it got a fish. How it could see anything at that speed and with the surface glare, I don't know.

Along with many species of ducks , saw two male Marsh Hawks out over the central Spencer Island ponds. It's always a special treat to see a male marsh hawk, let alone two. Obviously there are always more female Harriers around - does anybody out there in tweeterland have any info on the real male/female population split with Marsh Hawks ?

Jeff Gibson, Everett Wa.

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