Subject: [Tweeters] the amazing Hayton Reserve 10.31.19 Date: Fri Nov 1 08:51:11 PDT 2019 From: Marv Breece - marvbreece at q.com
Although I birded several locations in Skagit County yesterday, Hayton Reserve on Fir Island was by far the most productive. This post is about Hayton only.
At 4PM I noticed a juv gray GYRFALCON perched on a root wad. On first glance I knew the mantle color was wrong for any plumage of peregrine; neither was it right for prairie. But I wouldn't allow my head to go to gyr until I saw that the wing tips fell far short of the tail tip on this perched bird. In my experience, an October gyr is not to be expected. The locals were unhappy with the new visitor, as the gyr was repeatedly strafed by harriers and at least 1 peregrine. When it took to the air, the gyr had to fight for air space with one of the peregrines. It was quite a show. I didn't see the gyr leave the area last night & don't know if it will remain. I hope so.
The adult LIGHT MORPH HARLAN'S RED-TAILED HAWK first appeared perched in a distant tree across the big pond. It took me a while to be confident it was a Harlan's and not a juv Western Red-tail. This Harlan's has obvious spectacles. It is very white below. And although most of the tail is red, a close look will reveal white at the base of the tail. This may be the same bird I observed 6 times between October 10 & November 29, 2017. I did not see it in 2018.
Finally, a word about sunset and snows last night. The spectacular sunset, with the sight and sound of thousands of SNOW GEESE overhead, en route to roost for as far as the eye can see, was something to behold.