[Tweeters] Brown Shrikes and the Super Bowl

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 11 18:44:04 PDT 2009

Dear Gene and Tweeters,

Good point about the possibility of the Fill Shrike being a Brown Shrike.

That reminds me of why I rarely watch football, and virtually never the Super Bowl.

One time in the mid-1980's, I took a once-upon-a-time girlfriend to look at the grey whales at Point Reyes, and of course to see a few birds here and there.

Having duly noted the whales and the birds, we raced back to San Francisco so we could watch the Super Bowl. The game turned out to be a bore; the New York Giants annihilated whatever other squad it was they faced that year.

The next day, I opened up my "San Francisco Chronicle," only to find an article about a Brown Shrike that had birders from all over North America completely agog.

To my horror--an icy horror that gripes me unto this very day--I realized that I had driven blithely by a great troupe of birders, all of whom were standing around the brush beside Tomales Bay.

"Oh," I had remarked to the girl, "it looks like another overbooked Marin Audubon field trip."

Yours truly,

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

--- Eugene and Nancy Hunn <enhunn323 at comcast.net> schrieb am Mo, 12.10.2009:

> Von: Eugene and Nancy Hunn <enhunn323 at comcast.net>

> Betreff: RE: [Tweeters] Fill shrike photo needed!

> An: "'John Sidles'" <sidles at u.washington.edu>, "'tweeters'" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Datum: Montag, 12. Oktober 2009, 3:37

> Tweets et al.,


> Several of us were unable to locate the shrike at the

> Montlake Fill early

> this afternoon.


> Apparently the issue is whether it is "just" a juvenile

> Northern Shrike,

> which is quite brownish and is to be expected about now, or

> the hyper-rarity

> Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) which has occurred a few

> times in Alaska and

> California. The Nat. Geo Guide illustrates this Asian

> straggler (on pg. 305

> of my old 3rd edition). Note, however, that the Brown

> Shrike is considerably

> smaller (7.5 inches) even than a Loggerhead (9 inches) and

> would be dwarfed

> by a Northern Shrike (10 inches). It also lacks the

> prominent white wing

> patches and the fine barring across the breast of the

> juvenile Northern

> Shrike.


> Gene Hunn

> Lake Forest Park, WA

> enhunn323 at comcast.net


> -----Original Message-----

> From: tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu

> [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu]

> On Behalf Of John Sidles

> Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2009 10:52 AM

> To: tweeters

> Subject: [Tweeters] Fill shrike photo needed!


> High tweets!


> Connie (Sidles) just called (me, her 'Watson'), and said

> "Watson, come 

> here, I need you!".


> Several birders are on the Shrike at the Montlake Fill ...

> but no-one 

> has a scope or a camera!


> I said I'd take her the scope, but if anyone wants to take

> a photo of 

> a (presumably? probably?) first-year shrike, then look for

> the birders 

> clustered near that south-west corner of the fill ,... say

> (I'm 

> gusssing here) 75 meters south and we of the main

> pond?  Neat what is 

> called "Mud Island"?


> Right now it's 10:52 am on Sunday morning.


> Thanks ... good birding to all ... John

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