[Tweeters] Skagit Snow Geese - 10/13/11

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Fri Oct 14 19:01:50 PDT 2011

Thousands of Snow Geese joined the hundreds that others had reported
earlier in the week. It looked like a December snowfall out on Fir
Island, just to the east of the Jensen Access. In flight, clouds of
them spanned the stretch between the road and the water, at around 1
p.m. yesterday (Thur.) Maybe some of you will be able to do a better
estimate of numbers than we could.

On the other hand it was like a late August day on the island, once
the fog lifted and the sun did its warming thing. Around noon, at
Wylie Slough, several of us commented on how it was time to take off a
fleece layer or so, after having been bundled up for the chill earlier
in the morning. By 3 p.m., though, the wind had picked up, clouds
obscured the sun and the fleece was once again welcome. The Samish
Flats were gray and cold. Even the Northern Harriers, a few Bald
Eagles and a lot of Eurasian Collared Doves failed to elevate the mood
up to levels felt earlier in the day, at the Skagit Game Range Hdqtrs
(Wylie Slough) area, where friends Dory and Ray and I, and birder
Steve Pink enjoyed watching a Peregrine Falcon (juvenile) chase after
and into clouds of shorebirds moving all over the large 'pond' just to
the west of the boat launch parking lot. A juvenile Cooper's Hawk and
a Northern Harrier (either a female or juvenile) also cruised through
the area and a couple of Red-tailed Hawks were hanging around as
well. Earlier Steve had seen and/or heard the calls of some Long-
billed Dowitchers and a Greater Yellowlegs, and we could hear 'peeps'
coming from a distant passing cloud of shorebirds, but we couldn't
identify them. We saw no Northern Waterthrush, but Steve said he had
heard a Northern Shrike at the Jensen Access. A Downy Woodpecker
treated us to a view and the rest of what Ray & Dory and I saw were
the 'regular' passerines, a N. Flicker or two, N. Shovelers, Amer.
Wigeons, Pied-billed Grebes, a few Great Blue Herons and some "Woolly
Bear" caterpillars (what do they turn into?), a few pesky
yellowjackets and flies. After initial excitement over possible Rough-
legged Hawks seen up along the Bayview-Edison Rd., it turned out that,
upon inspecting some photos taken, Roughlegs turned to Redtails, which
then were added to the many Dory, Ray and I had seen on both Fir
Island and the Samish Flats. The early birds of the day were Snow
Geese and that Northern Shrike.

A few Snow Goose, Red-tailed Hawk and scenic photos from the day may
end up making it to my Flickr acct. and, if so, I'll post a link later

I believe the hunting season for ducks starts tomorrow, so, if you
head up to Skagit Co. this weekend, get your orange on and your
earplugs or sedatives ready...

AND stop off at the Conway exit where fresh sweet corn is still being
sold (or at least it was yesterday and today). Yum!

Barb Deihl

North Matthews Beach - NE Seattle

barbdeihl at comcast.net

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