[Tweeters] Barn Owls, Hummingbirds in battle, a Golden Eagle & more
hank.heiberg at gmail.com
Sun Jan 4 20:42:40 PST 2015
> Today Karen and I had an amazing birding day considering that the only bird we were looking for, a Franklin's Gull, we didn't find. The actual purpose of our adventure was to go shopping at QFC Redmond Ridge. What the heck, it was only a little out of our way to try for the Franklin's Gull at Crescent Lake. We didn't even consider looking for the Rusty Blackbird because we probably wouldn't recognize it if it landed on the Rusty Blackbird page of our Sibley. After failing to find the Franklin's Gull despite having very good looks at 100+ gulls on Tualco Loop Road, we headed to Carnation for an early dinner. QFC could wait.
> However, the incidental birding adventure started earlier when I pushed the garage door opener. As the door opened, one foot in front of me and one foot off the ground two Anna's Hummingbirds were entangled in a fearsome, loud struggle. They formed a tight rotating ball. I had my camera in hand, but was so dumbfounded that all I could do was bend down and hope to aid the weaker of the two. Eventually the ball split and they flew off with one of them in hot pursuit.
> The next phase of our incidental birding adventure occurred at Sikes Lake which happens to lie between Crescent Lake and Carnation if you take back roads. We parked and walked out on the bridge and almost immediately we saw a Golden Eagle overhead chasing waterfowl. Then on towards Carnation. Just west of highway 203 and south of Carnation Farms Road we saw five large birds spread out in a field in the fading light. I did a quick U-turn and parked on the side of the road. The large birds were Great Blue Herons. What was interesting was the way they were spread out and appeared to be working in a co-ordinated way systematically searching the field for rodents.
> After dinner in Carnation and shopping at QFC, I decided to take back roads home in hopes of seeing an owl. One half mile east of West Snoqualmie Valley Road on N.E. 100th Street. we spotted a Barn Owl perched on a telephone wire on the north side of the road. We stopped the car and I unsuccessfully tried to photo the owl in the darkness & rain when a second Barn Owl flew up and perched on a post next to the car. They both flew off so I drove further down the road and found one of them perched on a wire. Then I took a U-turn and found the other owl again perched on a wire.
> Despite missing our target bird and getting no photos this was a very good day of incidental birding. The Golden Eagle sighting was at 3:45 p.m. The Barn Owl sightings were at 6:20 p.m.
> Hank Heiberg
> Lake Joy
> Carnation, WA
> Sent from my iPad
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