[Tweeters] Skagit Ross's Geese, Clark's Grebe, etc

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sun Nov 6 17:52:46 PST 2016

Dear Tweeters,
Today (sixth November) was a good day for birding in Skagit County. Here are a few highlights.
CLARK'S GREBE: one at Samish Island Public Beach (the "DNR Park"), with a few Western Grebes and other fish-eating species.
Swans and Geese: there was a huge flock at the western edge of Sedro-Woolley this morning, foraging in corn stubble at the north end of Prospect Street--the Butler Flats/Sedro-Woolley edge. I need to check my photos so that I can make an estimate, but there were close to 10,000 Snow Geese there. With them were all sorts of other large waterfowl, including a MUTE SWAN that had no rings or other signs of captivity, and which was flying freely with Tundra Swans, which outnumbered the Trumpeter Swans. Several hundred CACKLING GEESE were in the flock; I was able to find only one Canada Goose out there. The best species in the flock, by my way of thinking, was the ROSS'S GOOSE. I had not seen one in Skagit County since 1996, despite looking for them. The two Ross's Geese that I saw were adults. Later, I bumped into Eric Heisey and Annika W., and told them about the flock; they found at least one other individual of Ross's Goose, which was immature. After hunters had begun killing Snow Geese in the late morning, the flock had dispersed, but a large part of the flock of waterfowl was still along the north edge of Cook Road at sundown.
Gulls: there was a nice flock of gulls at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley. I saw one THAYER'S GULL there in the morning. Eric and Annika found a HERRING GULL and a FRANKLIN'S GULL there in the late afternoon, and I was able to see the FRGU near sundown. On Samish Flats, there was an adult Western Gull at the fields south of Edison School.
LAPLAND LONGSPUR: I saw two at the Samish East Ninety. Eric and Annika told me that they saw another one elsewhere on Samish Flats.
Yours truly,
Gary Bletsch
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