[Tweeters] Skagit Birding on Friday, March 13

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Sat Mar 14 13:51:20 PDT 2009

It was a rather lucky day for a friend and me. We were especially
hoping to see some owls and did indeed get treated to views of some
all afternoon. SHORT-EARED OWLS were hunting and interacting with
female NORTHERN HARRIERS at the area at the end of Rawlins Road - we
watched them for about an hour in mid-late afternoon. Took some
photos, but they are not super enough to post - I suggest taking a
look at Bob Kothenbeutel's excellent Short-eared Owl photos from a
couple weeks ago (see www.photos.rlkimages.com) - it was with those
images in mind, that we went out there hoping to see similar sights,
and sure enough, we did. Despite guns popping off in the distance, it
was a peaceful and inspiring viewing time that we shared with several
other birders/photographers.

Our other owl experience was near the Wylie Road parking areas. We
saw a GREAT HORNED OWL in a tree to the left of the farthest east
parking area. We also heard a few soft hoots. This was at about 1 p.m.

We also were at the Hayton Preserve area when thousands of SNOW GEESE
were feeding and lifting off and swooping around very close to us.
Earlier we saw some TRUMPETER SWANS along Fir Island Rd. in a field on
the North side and an OSPREY fly toward the water. On both the geese
and the swans it was interesting to see the orangey heads and necks on
some, from feeding in the mud, I presume. 2 PINTAIL DUCKS and about a
dozen GREEN-WINGED TEAL were out in the mudflats at the same place
(Hayton Preserve).

Another birder reported seeing a NORTHERN SHRIKE somewhere on Wylie
Road, perched on a sign - we never saw it. Also near there, we
witnessed some interactions between a RED-TAILED HAWK and a female N.
HARRIER - seemingly non-aggressive, playful swooping around each other
- an air dance!

A beautiful day - timing was most everything!

Barb Deihl

N. Matthews Beach - Seattle

barbdeihl at comcast.net

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