Subject: [Tweeters] Skagit GC Rosy Finch, Rusty Blackbird, possible Sn Owl
Date: Nov 19 20:12:00 2011
From: Gary Bletsch - garybletsch at

Dear Tweeters,

After enjoying the Cassin's Finch at my feeder this morning, I betook myself to Northern State Recreation Area, the old mental hospital farm just east of Sedro-Woolley. It was a beautiful day to walk around on the thin crust of snow there. Highlight was a female GREY-CROWNED ROSY FINCH! This bird was extraordinarily cooperative. It kept returning to the middle of the gravel path, where it seemed to be finding tiny seeds, or perhaps insects. In the thirty to forty minutes it took Josh Parrott and Dick Abbott to drive over to try for the bird, this finch never left a one-meter-square area of gravel path. This spot is between holes number eleven and twelve of the frisbee golf course, reached by walking up the hill from the main parking lot, then bearing left (west) toward two new pole structures (the ones erected a couple of years ago to serve as cross-country scorers' shelters). The bird was just north and west of these two structures.

There were a lot of dog-walkers and frisbee golfers out there today, but I was able to get people to walk around the bird long enough for Josh and Dick to observe it. It was still foraging there when we left to go to the Samish Flats.

Out on the Samish Flats, we hunkered down for about ninety minutes of blackbird watching at the dairy on Thomas Road, just south of Sunset Road. I was able to get a quick look at the RUSTY BLACKBIRD, but Dick missed it, and Josh was not able to convince himself that he'd seen it--so transitory were the backlit views of this single skittish bird among a skittish thousand.

We later met Libby Mills at the West Ninety, who had led a Skagit Audubon field trip out there today. Libby told me that a non-birder had told her about a large white owl that he'd seen several day sago, on the shoreline of Padilla Bay in Bay View, north of Breazeale, near the waterfowl preserve (no public access). If there really is a Snowy Owl out there, one might be able to observe it from the shoulder of Bay View-Edison Road.

Also on Samish Flats were five or six Short-eared Owls and close to a thousand Snow Geese.

Oh, and also at Northern State was a Wilson's Snipe, flushed by a female Northern Harrier, plus hordes of Fox Sparrows, and three species of wren.

Yours truly,


Gary Bletsch?Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA?garybletsch at che li occhi per la fronda verde
ficcava ?o s? come far suole
chi dietro a li uccellin sua vita perde, lo pi? che padre mi dicea: ?Figliuole,
vienne oramai, ch? ?l tempo che n?? imposto
pi? utilmente compartir si vuole?.??