[Tweeters] Possible Gyrfalcon at Hayton Preserve, Fir Island

Rachel RachelWL at msn.com
Sat Nov 20 21:03:27 PST 2010

Today, Joseph and I were leaving the Hayton Preserve when I looked back
and saw a big falcon chasing a GREAT BLUE HERON, out by the dike. By
the time we stopped and got back out of the car, the falcon had stopped
chasing the heron, and was flying toward the main road. The bird was
distant, but I could see that it had no black mask or strong face
pattern. It was big and heavy-looking, uniformly medium-brown on the
back and streaked with pale-ish brown on the underparts. I couldn't see
any black on axillaries or underwings. As the falcon flew over the
large flock of SNOW GEESE, it dive-bombed the flock three or four times,
before crossing the road and disappearing to the north. As I said, the
bird was distant and I can't say for sure, but, based on its behavior
and appearance, I think it was a juvenile gray-morph GYRFALCON.

Other than that, we didn't see anything else particularly unusual. At
Bayview State Park, there was a flock of five or six VARIED THRUSHES and
a bunch of NORTHERN FLICKERS that included a YELLOW-SHAFTED intergrade
with a red nape and yellow in the wings and tail. At the West 90, a
PEREGRINE FALCON had some sort of altercation with a harrier, and we saw
the RED-TAILED HAWK with the overgrown bill that has been reported
previously. There was a NORTHERN SHRIKE at Jensen Access, and jillions
of DUNLIN at various places along the way.

Rachel Lawson
rachelwl at msn.com

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