[Tweeters] Fir Island

Neil and Carleen Zimmerman n3zims at comcast.net
Sun Oct 4 20:57:10 PDT 2009

Hello Tweeters,

     I got an early start this morning to get to Jensen Access on Fir Island by Conway, WA. I wanted to get there close to high tide which was a little after 6am.  Along with the setting full moon and rising sun, Marv Breece and I located one Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at 7:15. It was with about 25-30 Black-bellied Plovers, 6-8 Pectoral Sandpipers and a couple hundred Western Sandpipers. Before a Peregrine Falcon came in and scattered the birds, we got a great look at the Sharp-tailed. We never located it after that. As the tide went out, the birds were down in the grass and almost impossible to see. Thousands of Snow Geese flew over head as we were standing on the dike.

    About a hour later, Marv and I were looking at shorebirds at Hayton  Reserve when we heard a short squawk. Marv said "it sounded like a Sandhill Crane but it couldn't be that". He thought it was my tripod or something and I thought it was the gate. But we both looked up and saw a lone Sandhill Crane winging it to the east. Surprised us.

   I headed over to the Skagit Game Range Headquarters. This place has totally changed since they breached the dikes. They built a huge parking lot with the nicest outhouse on Fir Island. While I was walking the new west trail, I ran across a sparrow flock with White-crowned, Golden-crowned, Lincoln's, Fox and one tan-striped White-throated Sparrow. The sparrows were about 100 yards past the new water control structure on the new west dike. There were a lot of waterfowl in the flooded areas. There were about a hundred Cedar Waxwings feeding in the tree tops. It will be interesting to seewhat kind of birding this area will provide after this restoration. It will be different but still good.

Neil Zimmerman

Brier, WA

n3zims at comcast.net
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