[Tweeters] Eastside Audubon Samish trip 20 Jan
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Fri Jan 22 08:20:44 PST 2016
A somewhat belated report on the trip that Eastside Audubon took to the
Samish and Skagit Flats on Wednesday. The first part of our trip started out
in drizzly rain and mid-40s, but by the time we dropped down into the Skagit
Valley it was clearing, and we saw an AMERICAN KESTREL on the power lines.
We started on Chuckanut Drive and turned on Pulver where we had our first
sighting of swans - a small family group of TRUMPETER SWANs. Across the road
in a bare tree we had a perched PEREGRINE FALCON. We made our way up Ershig
Rd. picking up GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLs in a field. Further up a bigger group
of swans was a ways out in the field - a scope scan showed mostly TRUMPETER
and a few TUNDRA SWANs. On Sunset we had still more, but closer swans - this
large flock was about half and half Trumpeter and Tundra. Way further across
the field was a looong line of ducks. Thru the scopes it was almost all
AMERICAN WIGEON (probably close to 500) with two EURASIAN WIGEON barely
Back to Ershig and onto Worline. We saw a flock of MEW GULLs and many
scattered groups of MALLARDs, NORTHERN PINTAIL and more AMERICAN WIGEON. At
several spots there were EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVEs. We began to see BALD
EAGLEs in trees and fields. A NORTHERN HARRIER worked the area over. At one
house with a feeder there were Collared-Doves, HOUSE FINCH, HOUSE SPARROW.
Across from the cemetery on Worline the house with feeders yielded DARK-EYED
JUNCOs, more HOUSE SPARROWs, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEEs.
Coming into Bow we saw perched RED-TAILED HAWK, BALD EAGLE and a couple of
COMMON RAVENs. Back onto Chuckanut the flooded fields had lots of ducks - we
saw MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN WIGEON, an
additional 5 EURASIAN WIGEON, Lots more BALD EAGLEs. The Blanchard area had
many ducks - same ones seen earlier. The house with the feeder had DARK-EYED
JUNCO, HOUSE SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, SPOTTED
TOWHEE and a single female RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. A few scattered AMERICAN
CROWs were around.
After a stop at the Farm to Market Bakery in Bow, we made our way over to
Edison. The flooded fields were all loaded with many of the ducks we had
already seen. Along the way we saw our first ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK. It was very
quiet at the West 90 with a couple more Rough-leggeds, but lots of BALD
EAGLEs. A flock of gulls included MEW and RING-BILLED. By now the clouds had
moved back in and occasional misty drizzle was happening, and even thought
the temperature read 45 with a wind it felt more like mid-30s.
We started up toward Samish Island, but stopped part way because we had a
close SHORT-EARED OWL - great views with the bird working the field only
about 100 feet way. A second Short-eared was further out in the field. There
were at least 5 NORTHERN HARRIERs (both male and female) also working the
field. A BALD EAGLE sat perched on a fence post, and when a Harrier caught
something the eagle took off. After several passes the Harrier dropped its
prey and the Eagle dropped down into the grass.
At the public access on Wharf Road on Samish Island we scanned Samish Bay
and picked up COMMON LOON, HORNED GREBE, BUFFLEHEAD, BRANT, SURF SCOTER,
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, COMMON GOLDENEYE, two WESTERN GREBEs, RED-BREASTED
MERGANSER and LONG-TAILED DUCK. A couple of DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTs were
Working down Bayview-Edison Rd we saw many more ducks, and a field loaded
with SNOW GEESE, probably between 5-7,000 - as always the sound is
We made a stop at Valentine Road and the feeders had active BLACK-CAPPED and
CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEEs, DARK-EYED JUNCOs, SONG SPARROW, DOWNY
WOODPECKER, NORTHERN FLICKER, and ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD.
At various spots during the day we also saw GREAT BLUE HERON, KILLDEER, ROCK
PIGEON, MARSH WREN, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, AMERICAN ROBIN, EUROPEAN
STARLING (lots), RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, BREWER'S BLACKBIRD.
It was a good day with lots of very nice views and good company.
Brian H. Bell
Mail to bell asoc a t iso media dot com
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