Subject: Fir Island birds
Date: Aug 5 12:27:07 2002
From: Scott Atkinson - scottratkinson at


You're right about Baird's--Jensen's ploughed fields are a premier spot for
them. Although all were ignored in the last two WOS Newsletters, migration
in wWA peaked last year during August at Jensen: I remember single-day
highs of 18 and 20 respectively. Some birds lingered very late here also--I
had three October 20--the latest ever for Skagit County.

Com. Mergs (chiefly female/imm. birds, up to several hundred at a time) have
been especially well represented in recent years, at both Jensen and Snow

You might have also heard that both golden-plovers showed at Jensen last
year, as did a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, along with other goodies. Seems as
though we're entering a real good time for the less common shorebirds. Last
year other observers at Jensen also had remarkable highs for Bank Swallow
(10, Aug. 26) and YH Blackbird (Sullivans, can't recall date or number,
think it was 9 though).

Scott Atkinson
Lake Stevens
mail to: scottratkinson at

>From: Gary Bletsch <garybletsch at>
>Reply-To: garybletsch at
>To: tweeters tweeters <tweeters at>
>Subject: Fir Island birds
>Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 11:11:46 -0700 (PDT)
>Dear Tweeters,
>Yesterday on Fir Island, a Peregrine was eating a small, blackish bird
>near the White Swan guest house. There was no puddle there, although the
>rains could start producing some. At the Moore Rd. pond were a Killdeer and
>three Least Sandpipers.
>Two trips to the Jensen Access (in between squalls) at high tide produced
>some interesting finds. A Common Loon fished offshore. A pair of
>White-winged Scoters flew in and joined a flock of Mergansers. The male
>scoter was quite spiffy, with the white eye-mark and colorful bill, and
>both birds showed white wingbars from far off. I believe the mergansers
>were Common Mergansers--there were no drakes in breeding plumage, and I
>could not resolve the color gradation or demarcation of the necks at long
>range, but the birds had white marks below the bill-base.
>In the nearby fields, much of the crops have been harvested and the land
>ploughed; I looked for Baird's Sandpipers, but the ploughed fields had only
>Starlings, blackbirds, peeps, and a Semipalmated Plover. Soon, however, the
>Baird's ought to be utilizing these fields--they look just right.
>Overflying the area were several flocks of Black-bellied Plover, four
>silent-billed dowitchers, and some birds that may have been golden plover
>species; again, I just could not tell.
>Yours truly,
>Gary Bletsch
>garybletsch at
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