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Arctic Loon (2)Gavia arctica


Yellow-billed Loon (2)Gavia adamsii


Gyrfalcon (2)Falco rusticolus


Chukar (2)Alectoris chukar


Gray Partridge (2)Perdix perdix


Pacific Golden-Plover (2)Pluvialis fulva


Bar-tailed Godwit (2)Limosa lapponica


Rock Sandpiper (2)Calidris ptilocnemis


Iceland Gull (2)Larus glaucoides


Sooty Tern (2)Sterna fuscata


Ancient Murrelet (2)Synthliboramphus antiquus


Parakeet Auklet (2)Aethia psittacula


Snowy Owl (2)Nyctea scandiaca


Spotted Owl (2)Strix occidentalis


Great Gray Owl (2)Strix nebulosa


Long-eared Owl (2)Asio otus


Northern Saw-whet Owl (2)Aegolius acadicus


Red-cockaded Woodpecker (2)Picoides borealis


White-winged Crossbill (2)Loxia leucoptera


Arctic Loon (2)Gavia arctica




    Subject: Arctic Loon ??
    Date: 08 Jan
    From: ettacosey AT comcast.net 
    This afternoon between 3:45 and 4pm I had two distant views of a loon with a white patch near it’s rear.  It was not preening, but feeding.  It was seen about 50 - 100 ft.
    from the north end of Saltwater State Park. First sighting was nearer to shore in calm water; the other was further out in choppy water.
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    Subject: White flanks on a loon does NOT equate to it being an Arctic Loon
    Date: 07 Jan
    From: baro AT pdx.edu 
    These two photos are NOT a tutorial of how to identify an Arctic Loon.
    They just illustrate a couple of possibilities.
    Note the difference in the white along the flanks. The Arctic Loon (lower
    photo) has a broader white patch towards the rear,but not
    necessarily a blotch at the rear, The Pacific Loon above had consistent
    white flanks but consistently very blotchy.
    The bill sizes and shapes are quite similar as are the head shapes..
    BUT the Arctic Loon photo which I took 13 years ago is just a single
    photograph of the many I took at the time.. My different photos of this
    bird appear superficially quite different and some conform in the head
    shape described as secondary features by Brad Waggoner.
    You can look at additional photos taken by others here:
    https://ebird.org/checklist/S51313730 and
    https://ebird.org/checklist/S77812356
    the latter url has a nice comparison between the two as well. I only found
    these eBird photos before replying to this thread.
    eBird shows only 1 record each for WA & OR, but eBird does not contain all
    records.
    Here is an especially nice set of photos from the WA record
    https://ebird.org/checklist/S18340151 and the following.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/76552838@N03/14163138925/in/photostream/
    So, the lesson is, "Keep looking". And if you find a suspect take a lot of
    photos. Brad Waggoner described the situation very well.
    Bob OBrien Portland
    PS eBird is a great resource.




    On Sun, Jan 3, 2021 at 5:04 PM Robert O'Brien wrote:

    > Nice comments by Brad Waggoner. And clearly not to discourage
    > anyone from looking for Arctic Loons. They are indeed rare and all the
    > more reason to look for them. Always best to post to Tweeters if you have
    > found a 'suspect'.
    > Take a look and decide what you think, based upon Brad's comments, about
    > the ID of these two Oregon loons, which I photographed over a period of
    > many years. (P.S. There was nothing 'highly' unusual about the posture of
    > either one.) Comments online or offline welcomed. To be continued.
    > https://www.flickr.com/photos/159695762@N07/?
    > Bob O'Brien Portland
    >
    > On Fri, Jan 1, 2021 at 3:06 PM Brad Waggoner wrote:
    >
    >> Hi all,
    >>
    >> It seems every winter there are a handful of reports of an Arctic Loon
    >> and “white flanks” are provided as the reasoning for the identification.
    >> The presence of white flanks is really not the identifying feature of an
    >> Arctic Loon. And all of our common expected species of loons can exhibit
    >> this feature to some degree depending on the individual bird depending on
    >> posture or behavior. The specific key feature to send one down the path of
    >> a potential Arctic Loon identification is an enlarged white “bubble” or
    >> oval area in the rear area of those white flanks. Then there are some
    >> subtle features such as a somewhat blocky head and larger bill than a
    >> Pacific Loon that will be of additional help. I think actually an Arctic
    >> Loon can tend somewhat more suggestive of a Common Loon than a Pacific Loon.
    >>
    >> There are only a handful of WBRC approved records of Arctic Loon so it
    >> truly is a rare bird in Washington.
    >>
    >> Good birding and Happy New Year!
    >>
    >> Brad Waggoner
    >>
    >> Sent from my iPhone
    >> _______________________________________________
    >> Tweeters mailing list
    >> Tweeters@u.washington.edu
    >> http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters
    >>
    >



    Subject: Arctic Loon on Port Angeles CBC Jan. 2 (Was Re: White flanks on a loon does NOT equate to it being an Arctic Loon)
    Date: 04 Jan
    From: scottratkinson AT hotmail.com 
    Tweets:



    Many observers have reported varied loons showing white flank patches at times,

    especially when preening or when in feeding/diving mode. And then Red-throated

    Loon can show white along the flank especially, and also tends to hold head/bill

    upward. That said, the white flank on RT never seems to reach the fullest and

    most symmetric expression as it does on Arctic. (And as we all know, RT does

    not typically have dark plumage extending below the eye, RT giving off the "baby

    face" impression, along with having a slimmer, paler bill than Pacific/Arctic).


    This is all timely, because I just posted an Arctic Loon report from

    Port Angeles, seen on the Jan. 2 CBC, to Ebird:

    https://ebird.org/checklist/S78633096. No photo was possible, but

    most details are given in writing there.


    The slightly heavier bill & overall length, uptilted head/bill posture,

    and side-profile silhouette of Arctic--what could be called overall

    "presence" (or "gizz" in past parlance)--differ from Pacific Loon.

    Brad is correct here in noting similarity to Common Loon. Overall length

    of Arctic is about midway between Common and Pacific, but often comes

    off as more like Common in the field, and Arctic seems to sit a bit lower in

    the water than Pacific sometimes, likely reflecting a slightly heavier/

    longer bird. The uptilted head/bill and side-profile

    silhouette (for overall length, bill, head shape and back) are good

    field-marks for Arctic, but a uniform, and full-length, white flank patch has

    historically been considered important.


    Back seems less neatly uniform and rounded than on Pacific, still again reminiscent

    of Common Loon.


    All of the above were evident with the Port Angeles bird, which was

    at rest (and at side profile the entire time). Although I did not see the

    Port Angeles bird fly off, Arctic seems a little heavier in flight than Pacific also.


    My core experience comes from nearly 30 years of Russian Far East

    visitation, including at-sea time; both Pacific and Arctic Loons are

    common at times, such as migrants along s.e. Kamchatka, for

    example.



    Scott Atkinson

    Lake Stevens



    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Nice comments by Brad Waggoner. And clearly not to discourage anyone from

    looking for Arctic Loons. They are indeed rare and all the more reason to

    look for them. Always best to post to Tweeters if you have found a

    'suspect'.

    Take a look and decide what you think, based upon Brad's comments, about

    the ID of these two Oregon loons, which I photographed over a period of

    many years. (P.S. There was nothing 'highly' unusual about the posture of

    either one.) Comments online or offline welcomed. To be continued.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

    Bob O'Brien Portland




    Hi all,



    It seems every winter there are a handful of reports of an Arctic Loon and white flanks are provided as the reasoning for the identification. The presence of white flanks is really not the identifying feature of an Arctic Loon. And all of our common expected species of loons can exhibit this feature to some degree depending on the individual bird depending on posture or behavior. The specific key feature to send one down the path of a potential Arctic Loon identification is an enlarged white bubble or oval area in the rear area of those white flanks. Then there are some subtle features such as a somewhat blocky head and larger bill than a Pacific Loon that will be of additional help. I think actually an Arctic Loon can tend somewhat more suggestive of a Common Loon than a Pacific Loon.



    There are only a handful of WBRC approved records of Arctic Loon so it truly is a rare bird in Washington.



    Good birding and Happy New Year!



    Brad Waggoner



    Subject: White flanks on a loon does NOT equate to it being an Arctic Loon
    Date: 04 Jan
    From: baro AT pdx.edu 
    Nice comments by Brad Waggoner.  And clearly not to discourage anyone from
    looking for Arctic Loons. They are indeed rare and all the more reason to
    look for them. Always best to post to Tweeters if you have found a
    'suspect'.
    Take a look and decide what you think, based upon Brad's comments, about
    the ID of these two Oregon loons, which I photographed over a period of
    many years. (P.S. There was nothing 'highly' unusual about the posture of
    either one.) Comments online or offline welcomed. To be continued.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/159695762@N07/?
    Bob O'Brien Portland

    On Fri, Jan 1, 2021 at 3:06 PM Brad Waggoner wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > It seems every winter there are a handful of reports of an Arctic Loon and
    > “white flanks” are provided as the reasoning for the identification. The
    > presence of white flanks is really not the identifying feature of an
    > Arctic Loon. And all of our common expected species of loons can exhibit
    > this feature to some degree depending on the individual bird depending on
    > posture or behavior. The specific key feature to send one down the path of
    > a potential Arctic Loon identification is an enlarged white “bubble” or
    > oval area in the rear area of those white flanks. Then there are some
    > subtle features such as a somewhat blocky head and larger bill than a
    > Pacific Loon that will be of additional help. I think actually an Arctic
    > Loon can tend somewhat more suggestive of a Common Loon than a Pacific Loon.
    >
    > There are only a handful of WBRC approved records of Arctic Loon so it
    > truly is a rare bird in Washington.
    >
    > Good birding and Happy New Year!
    >
    > Brad Waggoner
    >
    > Sent from my iPhone
    > _______________________________________________
    > Tweeters mailing list
    > Tweeters@u.washington.edu
    > http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters
    >



    Subject: White flanks on a loon does NOT equate to it being an Arctic Loon
    Date: 01 Jan
    From: wagtail24 AT gmail.com 
    Hi all,

    It seems every winter there are a handful of reports of an Arctic Loon and “white flanks” are provided as the reasoning for the identification. The presence of white flanks is really not the identifying feature of an Arctic Loon. And all of our common expected species of loons can exhibit this feature to some degree depending on the individual bird depending on posture or behavior. The specific key feature to send one down the path of a potential Arctic Loon identification is an enlarged white “bubble” or oval area in the rear area of those white flanks. Then there are some subtle features such as a somewhat blocky head and larger bill than a Pacific Loon that will be of additional help. I think actually an Arctic Loon can tend somewhat more suggestive of a Common Loon than a Pacific Loon.

    There are only a handful of WBRC approved records of Arctic Loon so it truly is a rare bird in Washington.

    Good birding and Happy New Year!

    Brad Waggoner

    Sent from my iPhone
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    Tweeters@u.washington.edu
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    Yellow-billed Loon (2)Gavia adamsii




      Subject: Black-Billed Magpie
      Date: 15 Jan
      From: wohlers13 AT gmail.com 
      Joan, a Black-billed Magpie was being seen on Fidalgo last year. I heard
      about it and went to find it on Oct. 1st when it was at the Skyline Marina,
      which isn't far from Rosario Beach. I wonder if it's the same bird. I don't
      see a local sighting after Oct 2nd but maybe I'm missing something, or
      maybe it wasn't reported for a few months.

      Lynn
      www.bluebrightly.com


      Virus-free.
      www.avast.com

      <#DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

      On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 6:34 PM Joan Bird wrote:

      > Joanne Weldon and I included Rosario Head on our Skagit County birding
      > route today in the hope that the Yellow-billed Loon might make an
      > appearance. As we stepped out into the open at the bay (just past the
      > parking lot and lawn area) we were startled by a very loud bird
      > vocalization. We immediately looked up "when what to my wondering eyes
      > should appear" but a Black-billed Magpie flying about 50' up and 50' out, a
      > large and vivid black and white bird with a very long tail, flying
      > southward. It proceeded across the bay and then up and over Rosario Head,
      > vocalizing as it disappeared from sight. A quick trip up to the top of
      > Rosario Head did not give us another sighting. No Yellow-billed Loon for
      > us today, but the Magpie at a beach in Western Wash. on a brilliantly
      > clear and sunny day put a big smile on our faces and was certainly our bird
      > of the day. Perhaps it was blown off course by the recent storms?
      >
      > Joan Bird
      > Bellingham
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      > Tweeters mailing list
      > Tweeters@u.washington.edu
      > http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters
      >


      --
      Lynn Wohlers

      Blogging at Bluebrightly
      Photography on Flickr
      And at Lynn Wohlers.com



      Subject: Black-Billed Magpie
      Date: 15 Jan
      From: jbird202 AT hotmail.com 
      Joanne Weldon and I included Rosario Head on our Skagit County birding route today in the hope that the Yellow-billed Loon might make an appearance.  As we stepped out into the open at the bay (just past the parking lot and lawn area) we were startled by a very loud bird vocalization.  We immediately looked up "when what to my wondering eyes should appear" but a Black-billed Magpie flying about 50' up and 50' out, a large and vivid black and white bird with a very long tail, flying southward.  It proceeded across the bay and then up and over Rosario Head, vocalizing as it disappeared from sight.  A quick trip up to the top of Rosario Head did not give us another sighting.  No Yellow-billed Loon for us today, but the Magpie at a beach in Western Wash.  on a brilliantly clear and sunny day put a big smile on our faces and was certainly our bird of the day.   Perhaps it was blown off course by the recent storms?

      Joan Bird
      Bellingham



      Subject: Sequim-Dungeness Christmas Bird Count results
      Date: 26 Dec
      From: bboek AT olympus.net 
      Hello, Tweeters,

      Like all CBCs, the Sequim-Dungeness CBC had to cope with COVID restrictions this year, but it actually turned out okay for birding. Even though we had to cancel our offshore boat, we ended up splitting several onshore parties to decrease group sizes, allowing some groups more time to concentrate in smaller areas.

      On Dec 14th our 93 field observers and 17 feeder watchers counted 79,636 individuals of 149 species, the fourth highest species count for the SDCBC. The weather was spectacular, with light winds and partly cloudy skies for most daylight hours.

      The most abundant species, as usual, was American Wigeon, with 16,587. Other species in the top ten, in decreasing order of abundance, were Pine Siskin (8966), Mallard (7140), American Robin (5198), Northern Pintail (4037), Glaucous-winged/Olympic Gull (3322), Brant (2513), Bufflehead (2146), Red-winged Blackbird (1911), and Dunlin (1773). These 10 species made up about 2/3rds of all the birds seen on our count.

      Several species set records or near records for the 45 years of our count: Trumpeter Swan, Eurasian Wigeon, American Wigeon, Greater Scaup, Long-billed Dowitcher, Short-eared Owl, Anna’s Hummingbird, Merlin, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, Pine Siskin, and Evening Grosbeak. Pine Siskins were the big winners, far exceeding their old record. Increased numbers of Merlins may be taking advantage of the siskin numbers, often seen hanging out near the swirling siskin flocks. Our Dungeness Spit party tallied an amazing 9 Short-eared Owls.

      We had very few misses or low counts. Eurasian Collared-Doves scored their lowest count in 10 years, making us wonder whether predators are finally having an impact on collared-dove numbers. A few other species scored well below average, particularly Hooded Mergansers and Golden-crowned Kinglets. No screech-owls, unfortunately.

      Stake-out Sandhill Crane and Pacific Golden-Plover cooperated well for the count. This is at least the fourth straight winter for a golden-plover to stay in our area, possibly the same bird. Other unexpected species included Blue-winged Teal, Turkey Vulture (maybe two?), Northern Goshawk, Gyrfalcon, five Snow Buntings, and the strangest of all, a well-described MacGillivray’s Warbler. Some unusual species are now fairly regular on our count, such as Willet, Yellow-billed Loon, and White-throated Sparrow. Count-week birds included American Bittern, Rough-legged Hawk, and Western Bluebird.

      Many thanks to all our counters and watchers, and Happy Holidays to everyone!
      Bob Boekelheide
      Dungeness







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      Subject: No YB Loon, but Humpback Whale at Rosario, etcetera
      Date: 16 Dec
      From: garybletsch AT yahoo.com 
      Dear Tweeters,
      Today, the fifteenth of December, several birders tried to relocate the Yellow-billed Loon that John Pushcock found yesterday at Rosario Head in Skagit County. As far as I know, nobody succeeded today. However, Matt Kennedy and I had good looks at a big whale that was spouting and fluking offshore. After consulting some field guides, I am confident that it was a Humpback Whale. That was the first one that I'd seen from Rosario Head.
      I reckon the rarest bird that I saw today was a hybrid drake that was with a flock of Mallards and American Wigeon near the Lutheran Church on Samish Flats. I will have to check my photos to see if any of them came out; this might have been a "Brewer's Duck," or Mallard X Gadwall--but I don't know much about hybrid birds. Unfortunately, it was getting dark at the time, so the photos are probably not too good.
      I paid a visit to the public boat launch at Campbell Lake today. The site had been closed earlier this fall, with some sort of construction going on. Today I saw the results. There is a fancy new toilet, a small picnic shelter, pavement over part of the parking area, and a nice little dock that extends far enough over the lake to give better views than were possible before. On the negative side, the wonderfully bird-rich brush line that used to run all along the western side of the access road has been obliterated. There are now some scrawny little plants in there, presumably a native planting to replace the blackberries and other brush that were there before. It will be interesting to see if this part of the site will have as many birds as the old brush-line did. I have my doubts.
      Yours truly,
      Gary Bletsch



      Subject: Rosario no luck YB Loon so far
      Date: 15 Dec
      From: garybletsch AT yahoo.com 
      Dear Tweeters,

      Several parties have been trying to relocate yesterday’s Yellow-billed Loon at Rosario Head, with no success as of 1050. Weather is variably unpleasant.

      Yours truly,

      Gary Bletsch
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      Gyrfalcon (2)Falco rusticolus




        Subject: Ocean Shores Gyrfalcon
        Date: 18 Jan
        From: christopher.hinkle2 AT gmail.com 
        Hi All,

        There was a GYRFALCON in Ocean Shores this evening. I first saw it
        terrorizing a murmuration of Dunlin at the Oyhut Game Range at high tide,
        but an unhappy Peregrine quickly chased it off. At sunset I refound the Gyr
        cruising around Damon Point. What was presumably the same bird was in
        Westport yesterday. Birding was otherwise slow, although I did have a
        Black Phoebe and nice looks at nine Rock Sandpipers with turnstones and
        Surfbirds behind the Ocean Shores STP.

        Cheers,

        Chris Hinkle



        Subject: Gyrfalcons outside of Sequim
        Date: 10 Jan
        From: whitney.n.k AT gmail.com 
        Hello, Tweeters.  Sunday 1/10 at 10 am we’re trying to pick out the Pacific Golden-Plover being seen on Schmuck Rd just south of Port Willams Road outside of Sequim.  No luck on the Plover but OMG we watched two Gyrfalcons hunting across the fields and engaging with each other.  Both birds appear to be first-year birds, with lighter brown coloring and some white on the face and head.

        A herd of elk came through as well. What an amazing morning.

        Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser
        Seattle
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        Subject: Westport Gyrfalcon
        Date: 09 Jan
        From: jbryant_68 AT yahoo.com 
        Currently looking at adult gray-phase Gyr on a power pole in grassy area between Westhaven SP and town proper. Visible from Jetty Haul Rd or Harms St.
        photos will be uploaded to eBird soon.
        Jeff bryant
        Seattle (but westport today)
        Jbryant_68 at yahoo

        Sent from my iPhone
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        Subject: Fwd: Skagit City Gyrfalcon
        Date: 01 Jan
        From: garybletsch AT yahoo.com 
        Second try sending message

        Sent from my iPhone

        Begin forwarded message:

        > From: Gary Bletsch
        > Date: January 1, 2021 at 10:05:41 AM PST
        > To: Tweeters
        > Subject: Skagit City Gyrfalcon
        >
        > Dear Tweeters
        >
        > Mike Nelson and Jordan Gunn and I just saw a Gyrfalcon on Fir Island, at about 0945. We were at a big pullout on Dry Slough Road, just north of a blue farm building, 18748 is address of house which is S of blue building...bird flew SE after we watched it circling for about four minutes, observing in binoculars and scope. No sign of NOGO yet but we did see yesterday’s MOBLs in same spot, just S of 18650 Skagit City Road in horse pasture on west side of road.
        >
        > Yours truly
        >
        > Gary Bletsch
        >
        > PS happy wildebeest year!
        >
        > Sent from my iPhone



        Subject: Skagit City Gyrfalcon
        Date: 01 Jan
        From: garybletsch AT yahoo.com 
        Dear Tweeters

        Mike Nelson and Jordan Gunn and I just saw a Gyrfalcon on Fir Island, at about 0945. We were at a big pullout on Dry Slough Road, just north of a blue farm building, 18748 is address of house which is S of blue building...bird flew SE after we watched it circling for about four minutes, observing in binoculars and scope. No sign of NOGO yet but we did see yesterday’s MOBLs in same spot, just S of 18650 Skagit City Road in horse pasture on west side of road.

        Yours truly

        Gary Bletsch

        PS happy wildebeest year!

        Sent from my iPhone
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        Subject: a genuine Skagit Nothern Goshawk!
        Date: 27 Dec
        From: birds AT ocbirds.com 
        just refound the Northern Goshawk on Dry Slough Rd.  here are the coordinates

        48.28766,-122.35675 about 60 feet up

        near 20310 dry slough road

        Have photos and seen in scope with graham Hutchison



        On December 26, 2020 5:22:28 PM PST, Gary Bletsch wrote:
        >Dear Tweeters,
        >Thanks again to Kendall Van Zanten for getting the word out about the
        >Northern Goshawk that he found on Fir Island on Christmas Eve!
        >After Joel Brady-Power called me to say that he'd relocated the bird
        >today, December twenty-sixth, I "skipped seventh-period study hall," so
        >to speak, and raced down to Fir Island. That is to say, I quit my
        >Christmas Bird Count at 1500, to go look for the Goshawk. Luckily, it
        >was a very slow afternoon on the CBC, so Joel had done the same thing!
        >Joel saw the bird from the "Moore Road Access" on Fir Island. That is
        >the little WDFW access on Moore Road, just a few hundred meters from
        >the North Fork bridge--the bridge between Fir Island and Rexville. I
        >think that the tree where Joel saw it was close to the one where
        >Kendall had seen it two days ago. 
        >By the time I got there this afternoon, the bird was gone. Joel said it
        >had flown east. Bob Kuntz drove down from his CBC area and joined me in
        >a two-car search. We drove Polson Road, where the bird had been seen by
        >Kendall and then Joel, but had no success. We then took Dry Slough Road
        >north, then took a right and headed east on Moore Road.
        >Unfortunately, Bob and I could not find the bird, so we said goodbye,
        >and Bob drove off. I took a few minutes to change out of my
        >cold-weather gear, for the drive home, and then headed east on Moore,
        >only to slam on the brakes! The Goshawk was perched in the top of a
        >tree on the side of the road, just a short distance from Moore Road's
        >eastern terminus! This tree is in the front yard of the old Skagit City
        >Schoolhouse. The house next door is a good landmark--it has many
        >Christmas decorations. The lady of the house told me that she's seen
        >this bird around her place recently, and had wondered what it was. 
        >That was the same story that Joel had heard from a landowner on Polson
        >Road. There are several places in the Skagit City area where people
        >have free-range chickens. I suspect that this Goshawk will stick
        >around, the way one was said to have done on Samish Flats years ago,
        >eating a chicken a day until there were no more left--if I remember the
        >story right.
        >After I snapped a few bad photos of the Goshawk, a Northern Harrier
        >came by and started harassing it. The Goshawk took off and flew due
        >south, toward what I suspect is its sleeping quarters. There on Polson,
        >just east of its junction with Dry Slough Road, there is a natural
        >hill--the only natural bit of elevation on Fir Island. The eastern end
        >of this hill has a grove of dense conifers. 
        >A good strategy for birders tomorrow would be to work "Skagit
        >City"--the entire northern quadrant of Fir Island, everything north and
        >east of Polson Road. One tactic is to scope from the Moore Road Access;
        >another is to drive the roads until you find the bird. Good luck to any
        >and all birders attempting to relocate this rare, frustratingly
        >transient bird!
        >One more thing--I think that this adult Goshawk is a female. It is a
        >big, bit bird. Joel and I agreed that it would probably kick a
        >Red-tailed Hawk's keister, if push came to shove. One would be far more
        >likely to confuse it with a Buteo, or perhaps with a Gyrfalcon, than
        >with a Cooper's Hawk or Northern Harrier.
        >Yours truly,
        >Gary Bletsch

        --
        Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.



        Subject: a genuine Skagit Nothern Goshawk!
        Date: 27 Dec
        From: garybletsch AT yahoo.com 
        Dear Tweeters,
        Thanks again to Kendall Van Zanten for getting the word out about the Northern Goshawk that he found on Fir Island on Christmas Eve!
        After Joel Brady-Power called me to say that he'd relocated the bird today, December twenty-sixth, I "skipped seventh-period study hall," so to speak, and raced down to Fir Island. That is to say, I quit my Christmas Bird Count at 1500, to go look for the Goshawk. Luckily, it was a very slow afternoon on the CBC, so Joel had done the same thing!
        Joel saw the bird from the "Moore Road Access" on Fir Island. That is the little WDFW access on Moore Road, just a few hundred meters from the North Fork bridge--the bridge between Fir Island and Rexville. I think that the tree where Joel saw it was close to the one where Kendall had seen it two days ago. 
        By the time I got there this afternoon, the bird was gone. Joel said it had flown east. Bob Kuntz drove down from his CBC area and joined me in a two-car search. We drove Polson Road, where the bird had been seen by Kendall and then Joel, but had no success. We then took Dry Slough Road north, then took a right and headed east on Moore Road.
        Unfortunately, Bob and I could not find the bird, so we said goodbye, and Bob drove off. I took a few minutes to change out of my cold-weather gear, for the drive home, and then headed east on Moore, only to slam on the brakes! The Goshawk was perched in the top of a tree on the side of the road, just a short distance from Moore Road's eastern terminus! This tree is in the front yard of the old Skagit City Schoolhouse. The house next door is a good landmark--it has many Christmas decorations. The lady of the house told me that she's seen this bird around her place recently, and had wondered what it was. 
        That was the same story that Joel had heard from a landowner on Polson Road. There are several places in the Skagit City area where people have free-range chickens. I suspect that this Goshawk will stick around, the way one was said to have done on Samish Flats years ago, eating a chicken a day until there were no more left--if I remember the story right.
        After I snapped a few bad photos of the Goshawk, a Northern Harrier came by and started harassing it. The Goshawk took off and flew due south, toward what I suspect is its sleeping quarters. There on Polson, just east of its junction with Dry Slough Road, there is a natural hill--the only natural bit of elevation on Fir Island. The eastern end of this hill has a grove of dense conifers. 
        A good strategy for birders tomorrow would be to work "Skagit City"--the entire northern quadrant of Fir Island, everything north and east of Polson Road. One tactic is to scope from the Moore Road Access; another is to drive the roads until you find the bird. Good luck to any and all birders attempting to relocate this rare, frustratingly transient bird!
        One more thing--I think that this adult Goshawk is a female. It is a big, bit bird. Joel and I agreed that it would probably kick a Red-tailed Hawk's keister, if push came to shove. One would be far more likely to confuse it with a Buteo, or perhaps with a Gyrfalcon, than with a Cooper's Hawk or Northern Harrier.
        Yours truly,
        Gary Bletsch



        Subject: Sequim-Dungeness Christmas Bird Count results
        Date: 26 Dec
        From: bboek AT olympus.net 
        Hello, Tweeters,

        Like all CBCs, the Sequim-Dungeness CBC had to cope with COVID restrictions this year, but it actually turned out okay for birding. Even though we had to cancel our offshore boat, we ended up splitting several onshore parties to decrease group sizes, allowing some groups more time to concentrate in smaller areas.

        On Dec 14th our 93 field observers and 17 feeder watchers counted 79,636 individuals of 149 species, the fourth highest species count for the SDCBC. The weather was spectacular, with light winds and partly cloudy skies for most daylight hours.

        The most abundant species, as usual, was American Wigeon, with 16,587. Other species in the top ten, in decreasing order of abundance, were Pine Siskin (8966), Mallard (7140), American Robin (5198), Northern Pintail (4037), Glaucous-winged/Olympic Gull (3322), Brant (2513), Bufflehead (2146), Red-winged Blackbird (1911), and Dunlin (1773). These 10 species made up about 2/3rds of all the birds seen on our count.

        Several species set records or near records for the 45 years of our count: Trumpeter Swan, Eurasian Wigeon, American Wigeon, Greater Scaup, Long-billed Dowitcher, Short-eared Owl, Anna’s Hummingbird, Merlin, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, Pine Siskin, and Evening Grosbeak. Pine Siskins were the big winners, far exceeding their old record. Increased numbers of Merlins may be taking advantage of the siskin numbers, often seen hanging out near the swirling siskin flocks. Our Dungeness Spit party tallied an amazing 9 Short-eared Owls.

        We had very few misses or low counts. Eurasian Collared-Doves scored their lowest count in 10 years, making us wonder whether predators are finally having an impact on collared-dove numbers. A few other species scored well below average, particularly Hooded Mergansers and Golden-crowned Kinglets. No screech-owls, unfortunately.

        Stake-out Sandhill Crane and Pacific Golden-Plover cooperated well for the count. This is at least the fourth straight winter for a golden-plover to stay in our area, possibly the same bird. Other unexpected species included Blue-winged Teal, Turkey Vulture (maybe two?), Northern Goshawk, Gyrfalcon, five Snow Buntings, and the strangest of all, a well-described MacGillivray’s Warbler. Some unusual species are now fairly regular on our count, such as Willet, Yellow-billed Loon, and White-throated Sparrow. Count-week birds included American Bittern, Rough-legged Hawk, and Western Bluebird.

        Many thanks to all our counters and watchers, and Happy Holidays to everyone!
        Bob Boekelheide
        Dungeness







        _______________________________________________
        Tweeters mailing list
        Tweeters@u.washington.edu
        http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



        Subject: Waterville Plateau today
        Date: 15 Dec
        From: edwardpullen AT gmail.com 
        Today on the Waterville Plateau visibility was pretty good, fog later in
        the day, and one of the two Snowy Owls reported by Shep last week was seen
        near Atkins Lake again in the same place, jct One and M. No luck on
        finding a Gyrfalcon, but a nice flock of American Tree Sparrows at the
        first farm on D road north off 15th Rd NW. Good numbers of Snow Buntings
        in many mixed flocks of Horned Larks. Nothing else really remarkable. Snow
        cover was pretty good.
        Good birding.
        --
        Ed Pullen
        Listen to my podcast at The Bird Banter Podcast

        available
        on iTunes podcast store and other feeds.

        Chukar (2)Alectoris chukar




          Subject: Okanogan County Birding
          Date: 16 Jan
          From: magicman32 AT rocketmail.com 
          Hi all,

          On Wednesday and Thursday I birded around the varied habitats of Okanogan County. Unfortunately the wind was quite strong on Wednesday, which conferred very few birds, but things really calmed down on Thursday, which turned out to be a gorgeous day!

          I started out Wednesday morning along Fancher Rd, which runs through shrub steppe and fields along the eastern base of a tall cliff (the butte blocked the wind nicely!). I normally stop here in the hopes of a calling Chukar or maybe a soaring Golden Eagle. On this morning I got all this and more! I flushed two Gray Partridge off the road approaching the cliff, my first time seeing this species at this location. At the cliffs, three Chukar called along with a Canyon Wren as the sun warmed the fairly calm, sheltered air. My personal highlight was a soaring Golden Eagle, which alit on an exposed branch about halfway up the cliff, allowing wonderful views with great lighting. As I watched it, another Golden Eagle appeared, presumably the male of the pair that breeds here, and began its majestic swooping display right above my head!! Absolutely magical…

          Well, it was all downhill from there. Emboldened by my great start to the morning, I eagerly charged up into the highlands and found…. very little. The wind howled, and the temperatures were unseasonably warm, keeping most birds in hiding. I scoured the highlands for five hours before turning tail, finding little more interesting than a small flock of Snow Buntings along Havillah Road and a few Red Crossbills along Hungry Hollow Rd. My 30 minute stint along Mary Anne Creek Rd (normally one of the premier spots) was indicative of the day: I saw a grand total of two Black-billed Magpies on the ENTIRE 6 miles road, despite multiple stops in the prime habitat. It was really slow… at least it was sunny and beautiful!

          A bit discouraged, I decided Great Gray Owls and the like would be a fantasy on such a day, and opted to head down to Osoyoos Lake in hopes of waterfowl and gulls. Well, it was just as windy here, which made scoping for waterfowl very difficult and caused the gulls to wheel in the air, neglecting to present me with very good views. I was just about to give up, when suddenly the wind virtually stopped as the sun set! Finally I was able to get some bearing on the birds present, finding three Red-breasted Mergansers, 12 Trumpeter Swans, Barrow’s Goldeneyes, Herring, California and Olympic Gulls, and a Merlin. A pleasant respite to end the day…

          Thursday was much more lucrative. I decided I would do something I had always wanted to do, but never really found the time for: walk the entirety of Cassimer Bar Wildlife Area. This place is truly awesome, and it is not birded even close to enough. It’s the kind of place that if situated near a larger populace could perhaps garner 240+ species and thousands of eBird lists. As it stands, there are still fewer than 200 checklists for the location, amounting to almost 190 species. Anyways, the birds! I found a number of interesting birds on my survey, including a continuing American White Pelican, Glaucous Gull, Virginia Rails and Marsh Wrens, as well Dunlin, Say’s Phoebe, Barn Owl, Hermit Thrush, Purple Finch, American Tree Sparrow, Cackling Goose, Pine Siskin, both Kinglets, Wilson’s Snipe and 15 species of duck. All of these are fairly difficult to come by in Okanogan county winters, so I was quite pleased! I totaled 57 species for the morning, easily my highest total at single location in January in Okanogan county. Below my report I will outline some tips for birding Cassimer Bar, in hopes that I can convince a couple birders to check out this fantastic place and find some great birds!

          Afterwards, I crossed the road from Cassimer Bar and scoped the Okanogan River at the junction of hwy 17 and hwy 97, which was swarming with waterfowl! Here I estimated around 650 American Wigeon, though I was unable to pick out an Eurasian. It seems like the spot to do so, though! There was also a single Tundra Swan mixed in with 44 Trumpeter Swans, a Purple Finch, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Cedar Waxwings.

          I drove to Grand Coulee afterwards, spending an unexciting 45 minutes hoping for gulls below the dam or at Electric City. My only sighting of any note was a continuing American Dipper below the dam. My real reason for coming this way was to bird the Columbia River west of Nespelem, something I had never done before. This place is vaunted as the only reliable place in Okanogan county for interesting gulls, attracted to three large aquiculture operations. Though the riverside access points were closed to non-tribal members due to COVID, I was able to spy some interesting birds right along the road. Oh, and did I mention that this area is just drop dead gorgeous?! Worth the trek for the scenery alone. On my drive there I had a Townsend’s Solitaire fly over my car and noticed several Northern Shrikes perched on telephone wires. Along the river, I found one spot along Nespelem Bar where I could scan perching gulls while Canyon Wrens called, finding a Thayer’s (Iceland) Gull, and one interesting 1CY gull that I believe was likely a Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull amongst the Herring, Ring-billed and Olympic Gulls. Not much else of note was around, but as I mentioned, it was gorgeous and I didn’t mind. I rounded out the day with 71 species, a lovely day of Okanogan birding.

          Alright, now for the Cassimer Bar directions! Previously, I have mostly accessed the bar by parking at the pullout just east of the bridge on hwy 97 the crosses the Okanogan River. This can be good, but there’s a fair bit of road noise, it’s a fair walk out to the Columbia, and even once you get to the Columbia you can’t really view everything without walking further. Instead, I suggest you park at the west end of Cassimer Bar Rd (48.0960933, -119.7086949; this can be pretty muddy, but it’s entirely manageable in an AWD car) and walk south to the river at (48.0921492, -119.7107153). This is where many of the good birds I mentioned above were viewed from, including AWPE, GLGU, ATSP, SAPH, DUNL and more. This spot allows a nice view of the river, where you can identify almost all the waterfowl within view on Lake Pateros. From there, either walk west and complete a shorter loop back to the parking area, or if you’re feeling adventurous, walk south to this general area (48.0875577, -119.7067684), which has some nice thick trees. This is where the HETH, PUFI, BANO and most passerines were, and has prime habitat for something like a Long-eared Owls or migrants in the spring or fall. Cows have made some paths through the trees, making it fairly easy to get back into the thickets themselves. This area also often has mud in the fall, making it a good spot to look for shorebirds. From there, I would just backtrack and finish walking the loop. In this reasonable walk, you are able to cover the best parts of the bar, probably finding some cool birds!

          Happy birding all,

          Eric Heisey
          _______________________________________________
          Tweeters mailing list
          Tweeters@u.washington.edu
          http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters

          Gray Partridge (2)Perdix perdix




            Subject: Okanogan County Birding
            Date: 16 Jan
            From: magicman32 AT rocketmail.com 
            Hi all,

            On Wednesday and Thursday I birded around the varied habitats of Okanogan County. Unfortunately the wind was quite strong on Wednesday, which conferred very few birds, but things really calmed down on Thursday, which turned out to be a gorgeous day!

            I started out Wednesday morning along Fancher Rd, which runs through shrub steppe and fields along the eastern base of a tall cliff (the butte blocked the wind nicely!). I normally stop here in the hopes of a calling Chukar or maybe a soaring Golden Eagle. On this morning I got all this and more! I flushed two Gray Partridge off the road approaching the cliff, my first time seeing this species at this location. At the cliffs, three Chukar called along with a Canyon Wren as the sun warmed the fairly calm, sheltered air. My personal highlight was a soaring Golden Eagle, which alit on an exposed branch about halfway up the cliff, allowing wonderful views with great lighting. As I watched it, another Golden Eagle appeared, presumably the male of the pair that breeds here, and began its majestic swooping display right above my head!! Absolutely magical…

            Well, it was all downhill from there. Emboldened by my great start to the morning, I eagerly charged up into the highlands and found…. very little. The wind howled, and the temperatures were unseasonably warm, keeping most birds in hiding. I scoured the highlands for five hours before turning tail, finding little more interesting than a small flock of Snow Buntings along Havillah Road and a few Red Crossbills along Hungry Hollow Rd. My 30 minute stint along Mary Anne Creek Rd (normally one of the premier spots) was indicative of the day: I saw a grand total of two Black-billed Magpies on the ENTIRE 6 miles road, despite multiple stops in the prime habitat. It was really slow… at least it was sunny and beautiful!

            A bit discouraged, I decided Great Gray Owls and the like would be a fantasy on such a day, and opted to head down to Osoyoos Lake in hopes of waterfowl and gulls. Well, it was just as windy here, which made scoping for waterfowl very difficult and caused the gulls to wheel in the air, neglecting to present me with very good views. I was just about to give up, when suddenly the wind virtually stopped as the sun set! Finally I was able to get some bearing on the birds present, finding three Red-breasted Mergansers, 12 Trumpeter Swans, Barrow’s Goldeneyes, Herring, California and Olympic Gulls, and a Merlin. A pleasant respite to end the day…

            Thursday was much more lucrative. I decided I would do something I had always wanted to do, but never really found the time for: walk the entirety of Cassimer Bar Wildlife Area. This place is truly awesome, and it is not birded even close to enough. It’s the kind of place that if situated near a larger populace could perhaps garner 240+ species and thousands of eBird lists. As it stands, there are still fewer than 200 checklists for the location, amounting to almost 190 species. Anyways, the birds! I found a number of interesting birds on my survey, including a continuing American White Pelican, Glaucous Gull, Virginia Rails and Marsh Wrens, as well Dunlin, Say’s Phoebe, Barn Owl, Hermit Thrush, Purple Finch, American Tree Sparrow, Cackling Goose, Pine Siskin, both Kinglets, Wilson’s Snipe and 15 species of duck. All of these are fairly difficult to come by in Okanogan county winters, so I was quite pleased! I totaled 57 species for the morning, easily my highest total at single location in January in Okanogan county. Below my report I will outline some tips for birding Cassimer Bar, in hopes that I can convince a couple birders to check out this fantastic place and find some great birds!

            Afterwards, I crossed the road from Cassimer Bar and scoped the Okanogan River at the junction of hwy 17 and hwy 97, which was swarming with waterfowl! Here I estimated around 650 American Wigeon, though I was unable to pick out an Eurasian. It seems like the spot to do so, though! There was also a single Tundra Swan mixed in with 44 Trumpeter Swans, a Purple Finch, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Cedar Waxwings.

            I drove to Grand Coulee afterwards, spending an unexciting 45 minutes hoping for gulls below the dam or at Electric City. My only sighting of any note was a continuing American Dipper below the dam. My real reason for coming this way was to bird the Columbia River west of Nespelem, something I had never done before. This place is vaunted as the only reliable place in Okanogan county for interesting gulls, attracted to three large aquiculture operations. Though the riverside access points were closed to non-tribal members due to COVID, I was able to spy some interesting birds right along the road. Oh, and did I mention that this area is just drop dead gorgeous?! Worth the trek for the scenery alone. On my drive there I had a Townsend’s Solitaire fly over my car and noticed several Northern Shrikes perched on telephone wires. Along the river, I found one spot along Nespelem Bar where I could scan perching gulls while Canyon Wrens called, finding a Thayer’s (Iceland) Gull, and one interesting 1CY gull that I believe was likely a Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull amongst the Herring, Ring-billed and Olympic Gulls. Not much else of note was around, but as I mentioned, it was gorgeous and I didn’t mind. I rounded out the day with 71 species, a lovely day of Okanogan birding.

            Alright, now for the Cassimer Bar directions! Previously, I have mostly accessed the bar by parking at the pullout just east of the bridge on hwy 97 the crosses the Okanogan River. This can be good, but there’s a fair bit of road noise, it’s a fair walk out to the Columbia, and even once you get to the Columbia you can’t really view everything without walking further. Instead, I suggest you park at the west end of Cassimer Bar Rd (48.0960933, -119.7086949; this can be pretty muddy, but it’s entirely manageable in an AWD car) and walk south to the river at (48.0921492, -119.7107153). This is where many of the good birds I mentioned above were viewed from, including AWPE, GLGU, ATSP, SAPH, DUNL and more. This spot allows a nice view of the river, where you can identify almost all the waterfowl within view on Lake Pateros. From there, either walk west and complete a shorter loop back to the parking area, or if you’re feeling adventurous, walk south to this general area (48.0875577, -119.7067684), which has some nice thick trees. This is where the HETH, PUFI, BANO and most passerines were, and has prime habitat for something like a Long-eared Owls or migrants in the spring or fall. Cows have made some paths through the trees, making it fairly easy to get back into the thickets themselves. This area also often has mud in the fall, making it a good spot to look for shorebirds. From there, I would just backtrack and finish walking the loop. In this reasonable walk, you are able to cover the best parts of the bar, probably finding some cool birds!

            Happy birding all,

            Eric Heisey
            _______________________________________________
            Tweeters mailing list
            Tweeters@u.washington.edu
            http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



            Subject: Last Blog of 2020
            Date: 26 Dec
            From: birder4184 AT yahoo.com 
            A quick trip to the Okanogan Highlands and the Waterville Plateau this week.  Fewest birds I have seen there in many visits, but gorgeous as usual.  Did find some Sharp Tailed Grouse and Gray Partridge and fun photos of Western form Red Tailed Hawk and Rough Legged Hawks.  
            No luck on northern specialties though.

            https://blairbirding.com/2020/12/25/last-fling-of-2020/

            Happy Holidays all...
            Blair Bernson

            Pacific Golden-Plover (2)Pluvialis fulva




              Subject: Sequim-Dungeness Christmas Bird Count results
              Date: 26 Dec
              From: bboek AT olympus.net 
              Hello, Tweeters,

              Like all CBCs, the Sequim-Dungeness CBC had to cope with COVID restrictions this year, but it actually turned out okay for birding. Even though we had to cancel our offshore boat, we ended up splitting several onshore parties to decrease group sizes, allowing some groups more time to concentrate in smaller areas.

              On Dec 14th our 93 field observers and 17 feeder watchers counted 79,636 individuals of 149 species, the fourth highest species count for the SDCBC. The weather was spectacular, with light winds and partly cloudy skies for most daylight hours.

              The most abundant species, as usual, was American Wigeon, with 16,587. Other species in the top ten, in decreasing order of abundance, were Pine Siskin (8966), Mallard (7140), American Robin (5198), Northern Pintail (4037), Glaucous-winged/Olympic Gull (3322), Brant (2513), Bufflehead (2146), Red-winged Blackbird (1911), and Dunlin (1773). These 10 species made up about 2/3rds of all the birds seen on our count.

              Several species set records or near records for the 45 years of our count: Trumpeter Swan, Eurasian Wigeon, American Wigeon, Greater Scaup, Long-billed Dowitcher, Short-eared Owl, Anna’s Hummingbird, Merlin, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, Pine Siskin, and Evening Grosbeak. Pine Siskins were the big winners, far exceeding their old record. Increased numbers of Merlins may be taking advantage of the siskin numbers, often seen hanging out near the swirling siskin flocks. Our Dungeness Spit party tallied an amazing 9 Short-eared Owls.

              We had very few misses or low counts. Eurasian Collared-Doves scored their lowest count in 10 years, making us wonder whether predators are finally having an impact on collared-dove numbers. A few other species scored well below average, particularly Hooded Mergansers and Golden-crowned Kinglets. No screech-owls, unfortunately.

              Stake-out Sandhill Crane and Pacific Golden-Plover cooperated well for the count. This is at least the fourth straight winter for a golden-plover to stay in our area, possibly the same bird. Other unexpected species included Blue-winged Teal, Turkey Vulture (maybe two?), Northern Goshawk, Gyrfalcon, five Snow Buntings, and the strangest of all, a well-described MacGillivray’s Warbler. Some unusual species are now fairly regular on our count, such as Willet, Yellow-billed Loon, and White-throated Sparrow. Count-week birds included American Bittern, Rough-legged Hawk, and Western Bluebird.

              Many thanks to all our counters and watchers, and Happy Holidays to everyone!
              Bob Boekelheide
              Dungeness







              _______________________________________________
              Tweeters mailing list
              Tweeters@u.washington.edu
              http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters

              Bar-tailed Godwit (2)Limosa lapponica




                Subject: White-tailed Kite and Bar-tailed Godwit
                Date: 23 Dec
                From: jdanzenbaker AT gmail.com 
                Hi Tweeters,

                After stopping by to see the WHITE-TAILED KITE on Willow Grove Rd on the
                west side of Longview (CowlitzCounty) this morning (thanks Russ K and Max
                R.), I headed out to Long Beach peninsula (Pacific County) to look for the
                Bar-tailed Godwit that I had missed ten days ago. Within two minutes of my
                arrival at the end of 275th Street in Nahcotta, I found the flock of
                Marbled Godwits which held one BAR-TAILED GODWIT. Glad that it only took
                two minutes since I spent 5 hours ten days ago without success. While
                scanning the remainder of the ~200 godwits, I was surprised to see another
                Bar-tailed Godwit. I immediately rescanned to make sure the first one
                hadn't done a quick reposition. 2nd bird confirmed when both of them were
                in the same field of view! The other surprise was a late OSPREY
                flying over with an immature Bald Eagle.

                I didn't see any Rock Sandpipers or Red Phalaropes.

                Keep your eyes and ears - pointed to where the birds are....

                Jim
                --
                Jim Danzenbaker
                Battle Ground, WA
                360-702-9395
                jdanzenbaker@gmail.com



                Subject: Three Jay Day! (And, a Bar-tailed bust))
                Date: 19 Dec
                From: Jon.Houghton AT hartcrowser.com 
                Happy Holidays, Tweeterdom!  Yesterday (Thursday), Kathleen and I headed south and west to re-acquaint ourselves with the Longbeach Peninsula, which we hadn't visited for way too many years, and, oh yes, try to find the Bar-tailed Godwit (s?) that had been hanging for several weeks with the many Marbled Godwits feeding in the Nahcotta area of the bay.  It had been reported a couple of days earlier and again yesterday morning so we felt like our chances were pretty good. Our plan was to devote Thursday afternoon and Friday morning to the Bar-tailed search, and then return home, somewhat deviously, via the Ridgefield NWR where we might find a Red-shouldered Hawk and if really lucky, the (one) White-fronted Ibis that has been intermittently sighted there over the last few weeks. We rated the Ibis as a long shot.  On Wednesday, Bruce LaBar and others reported sighting a Blue Jay at a feeder just south of Tacoma, adding a new candidate to our trip target list.  Thursday morning, we stopped by the Blue Jay location and were gratified to hear from David Richardson that the bird had just flown across the road and to learn that Bruce and Wayne Sladek, both top Pierce Co. birders were there and searching.  Very shortly, Wayne sighted the bird in the wooded area on the south side of 104th Street East and got us all on it. Check one target, and off to Willapa.  By the time we arrived at Nahcotta, the tide was well up into the salt grass fringe of the bay, leaving little room for godwits.  Failing to find them waiting out the high tide on little-used floats or barges, as we often see in Tokeland and Westport, we went off on a tour of the northern tip of the Longbeach Peninsula. This lovely area has great habitat for birds (including the Martha Jordan Nature Trail - way to go Martha!), and what has to be the most picturesque little town in Washington - Oysterville.  It was there, that we saw our first CA Scrub Jay of the day, making for a 3-Jay Day, our first, I believe!  The trails from the State Park into the NWR have some uniquely attractive vegetation communities we've not seen elsewhere: a great area for migratory passerines, no doubt, but...yesterday, it was pretty bird free.  This morning, we returned to Nahcotta and quickly found one small (7) and one large (ca. 200) flock of Marbled Godwits - beautiful and striking birds, but all very buffy, no smaller gray ones that might be Bar-tailed. After 2 hours of back and forth scoping out these same groups of birds but finding no other flocks, we headed for Ridgefield, via Astoria. On our first of two loops around the S Unit driving tour, we had a brief but poor look at what we concluded was a Red-shouldered Hawk just south of the rest stop and (now closed) viewing blind.  On around the south end of the loop we were looking hard to the north for the Ibis which had been seen there yesterday by Shep Thorp. While searching the fringes of a mudflat in the area, I got a flurry of dark wings in the side of my bins that proved to be attached to the Ibis!  So...3 of 4 targets found for the trip, with the most probable target (Bar-tailed Godwit) missed, and the longest shot (White-fronted Ibis) providing the best looks. I guess this is what makes birding such an engaging and (often) rewarding activity, especially in Covid Times. I have to believe that next year will be better in so many ways.  Happy Birding! - Jon Houghton, Edmonds

                Rock Sandpiper (2)Calidris ptilocnemis




                  Subject: West Seattle Rock Sandpiper
                  Date: 19 Dec
                  From: samgterry AT gmail.com 
                  Hey tweeters -

                  Followed up on the ebird report from Vince Marx and am currently looking at
                  the Rock Sandpiper - it’s with Black Turnstones between Don Armani Boat
                  Ramp and Luna Park. Great find, Vince!

                  Sam Terry
                  Seattle

                  Iceland Gull (2)Larus glaucoides




                    Subject: possible Iceland Gull at mouth of Cedar River
                    Date: 19 Jan
                    From: tweeters AT u.washington.edu 
                    It appears that the excerpt by Nick Mrvelj wasn’t included on my response.
                    Hopefully it goes through now:

                    “Interesting gull. At first glance, I thought this was a good candidate for
                    a GWGU x GLGU. However, after a deeper dive, I feel that Emily may be on to
                    something in regard to this individual having a pigment issue. I agree that
                    the hue of the mantle and primaries just seems a bit off for a Seward Gull;
                    the former a bit too pale and oddly mottled and the latter a weird pale,
                    brownish hue (which translates to me as primaries that should look blackish
                    but have a melanin deficiency). The size and shape of the bill seems good
                    for an Olympic Gull (or even a Western Gull or GWGU). I wonder if the iris
                    has a similar pigment issue, which is why its so pale? The coloration of
                    other bare parts, like the legs and bill, seem normal.”

                    - Alex Sowers

                    On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 7:17 PM Northwest birding e-mail <
                    tweeters@u.washington.edu> wrote:

                    > Hey tweets,
                    >
                    > It seems like this bird has been around for quite some time now and at
                    > this point has been photographed quite a bit. I’ve seen this bird
                    > consistently identified to multiple species/hybrids (like Glaucous,
                    > Glaucous x Herring, Kumlien’s Iceland, and Glaucous-winged x Glaucous) and
                    > yet there has never appeared to be a really solid ID on this bird. The
                    > general consensus amongst reviewers, or at least the one who confirmed it,
                    > seems to be that this is Glaucous-winged x Glaucous Gull (hybrid). However,
                    > many other experts believe that this is just a Glaucous-winged with pigment
                    > issues and not a Glaucous-winged with any other species in it (except maybe
                    > Western just because).
                    >
                    > I am no gull expert myself and don’t have any experience with
                    > Glaucous-winged x Glaucous, but i’d have to say that this is likely just a
                    > Glaucous-winged with pigment issues. The structure is pretty typical for a
                    > Glaucous-winged/Western type bird (not that that’s a big deal) and the
                    > weird brown tones and faint mottling all point towards a bird with pigment
                    > issues.
                    >
                    > Here’s a better explanation by Nick Mrvelj:
                    >
                    > “Interesting gull. At first glance, I thought this was a good candidate
                    > for a GWGU x GLGU. However, after a deeper dive, I feel that Emily may be
                    > on to something in regard to this individual having a pigment issue. I
                    > agree that the hue of the mantle and primaries just seems a bit off for a
                    > Seward Gull; the former a bit too pale and oddly mottled and the latter a
                    > weird pale, brownish hue (which translates to me as primaries that should
                    > look blackish but have a melanin deficiency). The size and shape of the
                    > bill seems good for an Olympic Gull (or even a Western Gull or GWGU). I
                    > wonder if the iris has a similar pigment issue, which is why its so pale?
                    > The coloration of other bare parts, like the legs and bill, seem normal.”
                    >
                    > All that being said, I am no gull expert, but it appears that this gull
                    > isn’t going to have a solid ID anytime soon.
                    >
                    > - Alex Sowers
                    >
                    > On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 6:55 PM Northwest birding e-mail <
                    > tweeters@u.washington.edu> wrote:
                    >
                    >> I saw a bird that fits Odette's description in October at the Cedar River
                    >> mouth. In addition to what Odette described the bird has yellow eyes. I
                    >> have some poor digiscoped photos here:
                    >> http://www.birdingwashington.info/Pics/gull
                    >>
                    >> If you right click on an image and select "View Image" you can see the
                    >> photo at full size.
                    >>
                    >> Odette has seen these photos and thinks it may be the same bird.
                    >>
                    >> Does anyone have an idea what it is?
                    >>
                    >> Thanks,
                    >>
                    >> Randy Robinson
                    >> Seattle, WA
                    >> rwr DOT personal AT gmail DOT com
                    >>
                    >> > On Jan 18, 2021, at 12:46 PM, Odette B. James wrote
                    >> >
                    >> >The possible Iceland Gull has returned to the delta of the Cedar River
                    >> at
                    >> >the south end of Lake Washington. It is with other gulls on a patch of
                    >> >gravel exposed among the logs on the submerged delta. The bird has a
                    >> very
                    >> >pale mantle and pink legs, is an adult (has red gonydeal spot on bill),
                    >> is
                    >> >smaller than nearby Glaucous winged, has no streaking on back and sides
                    >> of
                    >> >neck. There at 12:30 in the afternoon on Jan. 18.
                    >>
                    >>
                    >> _______________________________________________
                    >> Tweeters mailing list
                    >> Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                    >> http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters
                    >>
                    > _______________________________________________
                    > Tweeters mailing list
                    > Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                    > http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters
                    >



                    Subject: possible Iceland Gull at mouth of Cedar River
                    Date: 19 Jan
                    From: tweeters AT u.washington.edu 
                    Hey tweets,

                    It seems like this bird has been around for quite some time now and at this
                    point has been photographed quite a bit. I’ve seen this bird consistently
                    identified to multiple species/hybrids (like Glaucous, Glaucous x Herring,
                    Kumlien’s Iceland, and Glaucous-winged x Glaucous) and yet there has never
                    appeared to be a really solid ID on this bird. The general consensus
                    amongst reviewers, or at least the one who confirmed it, seems to be that
                    this is Glaucous-winged x Glaucous Gull (hybrid). However, many other
                    experts believe that this is just a Glaucous-winged with pigment issues and
                    not a Glaucous-winged with any other species in it (except maybe Western
                    just because).

                    I am no gull expert myself and don’t have any experience with
                    Glaucous-winged x Glaucous, but i’d have to say that this is likely just a
                    Glaucous-winged with pigment issues. The structure is pretty typical for a
                    Glaucous-winged/Western type bird (not that that’s a big deal) and the
                    weird brown tones and faint mottling all point towards a bird with pigment
                    issues.

                    Here’s a better explanation by Nick Mrvelj:

                    “Interesting gull. At first glance, I thought this was a good candidate for
                    a GWGU x GLGU. However, after a deeper dive, I feel that Emily may be on to
                    something in regard to this individual having a pigment issue. I agree that
                    the hue of the mantle and primaries just seems a bit off for a Seward Gull;
                    the former a bit too pale and oddly mottled and the latter a weird pale,
                    brownish hue (which translates to me as primaries that should look blackish
                    but have a melanin deficiency). The size and shape of the bill seems good
                    for an Olympic Gull (or even a Western Gull or GWGU). I wonder if the iris
                    has a similar pigment issue, which is why its so pale? The coloration of
                    other bare parts, like the legs and bill, seem normal.”

                    All that being said, I am no gull expert, but it appears that this gull
                    isn’t going to have a solid ID anytime soon.

                    - Alex Sowers

                    On Mon, Jan 18, 2021 at 6:55 PM Northwest birding e-mail <
                    tweeters@u.washington.edu> wrote:

                    > I saw a bird that fits Odette's description in October at the Cedar River
                    > mouth. In addition to what Odette described the bird has yellow eyes. I
                    > have some poor digiscoped photos here:
                    > http://www.birdingwashington.info/Pics/gull
                    >
                    > If you right click on an image and select "View Image" you can see the
                    > photo at full size.
                    >
                    > Odette has seen these photos and thinks it may be the same bird.
                    >
                    > Does anyone have an idea what it is?
                    >
                    > Thanks,
                    >
                    > Randy Robinson
                    > Seattle, WA
                    > rwr DOT personal AT gmail DOT com
                    >
                    > > On Jan 18, 2021, at 12:46 PM, Odette B. James wrote
                    > >
                    > >The possible Iceland Gull has returned to the delta of the Cedar River at
                    > >the south end of Lake Washington. It is with other gulls on a patch of
                    > >gravel exposed among the logs on the submerged delta. The bird has a very
                    > >pale mantle and pink legs, is an adult (has red gonydeal spot on bill),
                    > is
                    > >smaller than nearby Glaucous winged, has no streaking on back and sides
                    > of
                    > >neck. There at 12:30 in the afternoon on Jan. 18.
                    >
                    >
                    > _______________________________________________
                    > Tweeters mailing list
                    > Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                    > http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters
                    >



                    Subject: possible Iceland Gull at mouth of Cedar River
                    Date: 19 Jan
                    From: tweeters AT u.washington.edu 
                    To whomever - What is "Northwest Birding E-mail,” a separate list-serve? Just curious.

                    George Neavoll
                    S.W. Portland

                    > On Jan 18, 2021, at 6:54 PM, Northwest birding e-mail wrote:
                    >
                    > I saw a bird that fits Odette's description in October at the Cedar River mouth. In addition to what Odette described the bird has yellow eyes. I have some poor digiscoped photos here: http://www.birdingwashington.info/Pics/gull
                    >
                    > If you right click on an image and select "View Image" you can see the photo at full size.
                    >
                    > Odette has seen these photos and thinks it may be the same bird.
                    >
                    > Does anyone have an idea what it is?
                    >
                    > Thanks,
                    >
                    > Randy Robinson
                    > Seattle, WA
                    > rwr DOT personal AT gmail DOT com
                    >
                    > > On Jan 18, 2021, at 12:46 PM, Odette B. James wrote
                    > >
                    > >The possible Iceland Gull has returned to the delta of the Cedar River at
                    > >the south end of Lake Washington. It is with other gulls on a patch of
                    > >gravel exposed among the logs on the submerged delta. The bird has a very
                    > >pale mantle and pink legs, is an adult (has red gonydeal spot on bill), is
                    > >smaller than nearby Glaucous winged, has no streaking on back and sides of
                    > >neck. There at 12:30 in the afternoon on Jan. 18.
                    >
                    >
                    > _______________________________________________
                    > Tweeters mailing list
                    > Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                    > http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



                    Subject: possible Iceland Gull at mouth of Cedar River
                    Date: 19 Jan
                    From: tweeters AT u.washington.edu 
                    I saw a bird that fits Odette's description in October at the Cedar River
                    mouth. In addition to what Odette described the bird has yellow eyes. I
                    have some poor digiscoped photos here:
                    http://www.birdingwashington.info/Pics/gull

                    If you right click on an image and select "View Image" you can see the
                    photo at full size.

                    Odette has seen these photos and thinks it may be the same bird.

                    Does anyone have an idea what it is?

                    Thanks,

                    Randy Robinson
                    Seattle, WA
                    rwr DOT personal AT gmail DOT com

                    > On Jan 18, 2021, at 12:46 PM, Odette B. James wrote
                    >
                    >The possible Iceland Gull has returned to the delta of the Cedar River at
                    >the south end of Lake Washington. It is with other gulls on a patch of
                    >gravel exposed among the logs on the submerged delta. The bird has a very
                    >pale mantle and pink legs, is an adult (has red gonydeal spot on bill), is
                    >smaller than nearby Glaucous winged, has no streaking on back and sides of
                    >neck. There at 12:30 in the afternoon on Jan. 18.



                    Subject: possible Iceland Gull at mouth of Cedar River
                    Date: 18 Jan
                    From: o.b.james AT verizon.net 
                    The possible Iceland Gull has returned to the delta of the Cedar River at
                    the south end of Lake Washington. It is with other gulls on a patch of
                    gravel exposed among the logs on the submerged delta. The bird has a very
                    pale mantle and pink legs, is an adult (has red gonydeal spot on bill), is
                    smaller than nearby Glaucous winged, has no streaking on back and sides of
                    neck. There at 12:30 in the afternoon on Jan. 18.



                    Subject: Iceland Gull
                    Date: 05 Jan
                    From: o.b.james AT verizon.net 
                    Probable adult Iceland Gull on Cedar River delta today at 12:15 pm.  Adult
                    bird, so is not the same as the Glaucous seen at Coulon Park. Smaller than
                    nearby Glaucous-winged.



                    Odette James, seen from Lakeshore Retirement Community (with my brand new
                    Kowa TSN-883 - woo!)

                    Sooty Tern (2)Sterna fuscata




                      Subject: BirdNote, last week and the week of Jan. 10, 2021
                      Date: 09 Jan
                      From: ellenblackstone AT gmail.com 
                      Hello, Tweeters,

                      Heard last week on BirdNote:
                      * Ptarmigan in Winter
                      http://bit.ly/3nv32Le
                      * Jaywalking
                      http://bit.ly/UhpqWP
                      * Outdoors with the Urban Bird Collective
                      http://bit.ly/3q5tZXL
                      * Birds That Whistle
                      http://bit.ly/1CaEFr6
                      * Saving the Red-cockaded Woodpecker
                      http://bit.ly/2Lf1FTW
                      * Birds, Nests, and Camouflage
                      http://bit.ly/1DO23wH
                      * Sooty Tern - Wide-awake Bird
                      http://bit.ly/Skj8XV
                      ======================== Next week on BirdNote: The Hoopoe's Smelly Family
                      + Why Do Owls Bob Their Heads? + "Hoodies" and more!
                      http://bit.ly/3bpQ4fM
                      --------------------------------------
                      Did you have a favorite story this week? Another comment?
                      Please let us know. mailto:info@birdnote.org
                      ------------------------------------------------
                      Sign up for the podcast: https://birdnote.org/get-podcasts-rss
                      Find us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/birdnoteradio?ref=ts
                      ... or follow us on Twitter. https://twitter.com/birdnoteradio
                      or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/birdnoteradio/
                      Listen on Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/birdnote
                      ========================
                      You can listen to the mp3, see photos, and read the transcript for a show,
                      plus sign up for weekly mail or the podcast and find related resources on
                      the website. https://www.birdnote.org
                      You'll find 1600+ episodes and more than 1200 videos in the archive
                      Thanks for listening!

                      Take care, stay safe, and enjoy the birds!
                      Ellen Blackstone, BirdNote

                      Ancient Murrelet (2)Synthliboramphus antiquus




                        Subject: Ancient Murrelets from PT
                        Date: 18 Jan
                        From: tweeters AT u.washington.edu 
                        Adding to the report from Sequim, ANMU have been regular winging around Point Wilson in Port Townsend, with some in the water and many flying by. The other day they were passing south in the morning at a rate of 30-50/minute for at least half an hour, so thousands total. A scope is necessary.

                        Good birding,

                        Steve Hampton



                        _______________________________________________
                        Tweeters mailing list
                        Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                        http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



                        Subject: Shout out for Gibson Spit - many Ancient Murrelets today
                        Date: 18 Jan
                        From: bradliljequist AT msn.com 
                        Gibson Spit, in my mind, is an underappreciated and -mentioned gem.  Located at the mouth of Sequim Bay, it is by itself a gorgeous location, which also brings in a lot of great birds.  In particular, the light is very special there, forelighting nearly everything through a rainshadowy spotlight. Today, lots of Common Goldeneye, Buffleheads, Harlequins, Brant, and most surprising, many Ancient Murrelets - some as close as 100 feet.  Lots of to-ing and fro-ing so it was hard to put a guess on numbers, but I would say at least 50 (they were moving in and out of the Bay so who knows exactly).  Definitely get down to the end of the spit and plan to sit for some time and just take in whatever moves by.  Also a great place later in the year to watch the Protection Island Rhino Auklets.  I am assuming a lot of fish moves through the tight channel thus the attraction.  Also, an excellent place for a small boat or kayak - next time, we plan to bring the Avon and just do an quiet offshore float and see what flies over.

                        Brad Liljequist
                        Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA, USA.

                        Parakeet Auklet (2)Aethia psittacula




                          Subject: Washington County Year List Project 2020 summary & 2021 launch
                          Date: 18 Jan
                          From: dennispaulson AT comcast.net 
                          Matt, thanks so much for compiling all this information. It’s really interesting to see the big picture!

                          Dennis Paulson
                          Seattle

                          > On Jan 18, 2021, at 12:12 PM, Matt Bartels wrote:
                          >
                          > Hi Tweeters & INWBers -
                          >
                          > Here’s the year-end report for the 2020 round of the county year-list project. Full results posted here:
                          > https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://wabirder.com/county_yearlist.html__;!!JYXjzlvb!w9JsuJ5sdOGmQI3_gYatEQCYU6WHpr92auUOzjQKTfSOWyFt1KZA2vXG_8zirJE40oIfzJjRDQ$
                          >
                          > [for those waiting for fresh excel checklists for 2021 - stay tuned, we’re getting close!]
                          >
                          > This was the 14th year we’ve recruited compilers from every county to keep track of sightings. The idea behind the project is to get behind the fun of individual county listing to compile a ‘community’ list — rather than just birds seen by a single individual, we attempt to pull together birds seen by anyone over the course of the year. It provides one perspective on the birds of Washington in 2020.
                          >
                          >
                          > Some results for 2020:
                          > Overall, I’m mostly surprised by how ’normal’ the results look despite this year’s disruptions.
                          > 393 species were reported statewide. That’s just a little below average [394.6], and one lower than 2019’s total.
                          > 323 species for Eastern Washington. That’s six above last year, and almost exactly at our average [323.3]
                          > 368 species for Western Washington. That’s four below last year, but still three higher than the overall average [365.0].
                          >
                          >
                          > Record high totals were reported for fourteen counties. That might be a result of more birders staying close to home? Records highs were tallied for: Asotin [225], Benton [235], Cowlitz [209], Franklin [222], Grant [262], Island [243], King [292], Kitsap [241], Lewis [213], Mason [213], San Juan [216], Spokane [254], Thurston [243], and Whitman [239]
                          >
                          > 25 Counties came in with totals higher than last year, 14 came in lower.
                          >
                          > 32 counties had totals higher than their 2007-2020 average. The counties with the biggest variance from their average included King [27], Whitman [27], Island [25], Mason [22], Lewis [22], San Juan [22], and Thurston [21].
                          >
                          >
                          > Species:
                          > 84 species were seen in all 39 counties, 171 were seen in 30 or more counties. That’s in line with last year, a sign of the ‘stable abundant’ portion of the state list, maybe? At the other end of the spectrum, 26 species were reported in only one county this year.
                          > The only missing species that are not a Washington Bird Records Committee review-list species were pelagic birds - not surprising with the limited Westport schedule and the lack of repositioning cruises: Parakeet Auklet, Short-tailed Albatross, & Murphy’s Petrel.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > In addition to the year list at the link [https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://wabirder.com/county_yearlist.html__;!!JYXjzlvb!w9JsuJ5sdOGmQI3_gYatEQCYU6WHpr92auUOzjQKTfSOWyFt1KZA2vXG_8zirJE40oIfzJjRDQ$ ] , I've included a simple sheet that compiles the annual county totals for each county from 2007-2020 -- if you'd like to see how any county has trended over the years, this is the sheet to study.
                          >
                          > 2021 compiling is underway, and I encourage you to look up the compiler for counties you bird in and send along unusual sightings -- most compilers are checking eBird reports already, but eBird still misses a good bit and we appreciate the help making sure we hear about these sightings. You can find a list of the compilers at the above link
                          >
                          > Thanks to all the compilers who track each county, and here's to a fun and surprising 2021. If you notice anything not noted on the 2020 list, let us know and make a resolution to report your sightings to the compiler this year .
                          >
                          > Matt Bartels
                          > Seattle, WA
                          > _______________________________________________
                          > Tweeters mailing list
                          > Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                          > https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters__;!!JYXjzlvb!w9JsuJ5sdOGmQI3_gYatEQCYU6WHpr92auUOzjQKTfSOWyFt1KZA2vXG_8zirJE40oK4H4pS2Q$



                          Subject: Washington County Year List Project 2020 summary & 2021 launch
                          Date: 18 Jan
                          From: mattxyz AT earthlink.net 
                          Hi Tweeters & INWBers -

                          Here’s the year-end report for the 2020 round of the county year-list project. Full results posted here:
                          https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://wabirder.com/county_yearlist.html__;!!JYXjzlvb!zI4DqAWP-tEK-oEQT9RZnZRy9i1neCiCVkyfR4GVe5oREU8tWTPNnly-IfwVtJZLsyvP2RV4Gw$

                          [for those waiting for fresh excel checklists for 2021 - stay tuned, we’re getting close!]

                          This was the 14th year we’ve recruited compilers from every county to keep track of sightings. The idea behind the project is to get behind the fun of individual county listing to compile a ‘community’ list — rather than just birds seen by a single individual, we attempt to pull together birds seen by anyone over the course of the year. It provides one perspective on the birds of Washington in 2020.


                          Some results for 2020:
                          Overall, I’m mostly surprised by how ’normal’ the results look despite this year’s disruptions.
                          393 species were reported statewide. That’s just a little below average [394.6], and one lower than 2019’s total.
                          323 species for Eastern Washington. That’s six above last year, and almost exactly at our average [323.3]
                          368 species for Western Washington. That’s four below last year, but still three higher than the overall average [365.0].


                          Record high totals were reported for fourteen counties. That might be a result of more birders staying close to home? Records highs were tallied for: Asotin [225], Benton [235], Cowlitz [209], Franklin [222], Grant [262], Island [243], King [292], Kitsap [241], Lewis [213], Mason [213], San Juan [216], Spokane [254], Thurston [243], and Whitman [239]

                          25 Counties came in with totals higher than last year, 14 came in lower.

                          32 counties had totals higher than their 2007-2020 average. The counties with the biggest variance from their average included King [27], Whitman [27], Island [25], Mason [22], Lewis [22], San Juan [22], and Thurston [21].


                          Species:
                          84 species were seen in all 39 counties, 171 were seen in 30 or more counties. That’s in line with last year, a sign of the ‘stable abundant’ portion of the state list, maybe? At the other end of the spectrum, 26 species were reported in only one county this year.
                          The only missing species that are not a Washington Bird Records Committee review-list species were pelagic birds - not surprising with the limited Westport schedule and the lack of repositioning cruises: Parakeet Auklet, Short-tailed Albatross, & Murphy’s Petrel.



                          In addition to the year list at the link [https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://wabirder.com/county_yearlist.html__;!!JYXjzlvb!zI4DqAWP-tEK-oEQT9RZnZRy9i1neCiCVkyfR4GVe5oREU8tWTPNnly-IfwVtJZLsyvP2RV4Gw$ ] , I've included a simple sheet that compiles the annual county totals for each county from 2007-2020 -- if you'd like to see how any county has trended over the years, this is the sheet to study.

                          2021 compiling is underway, and I encourage you to look up the compiler for counties you bird in and send along unusual sightings -- most compilers are checking eBird reports already, but eBird still misses a good bit and we appreciate the help making sure we hear about these sightings. You can find a list of the compilers at the above link

                          Thanks to all the compilers who track each county, and here's to a fun and surprising 2021. If you notice anything not noted on the 2020 list, let us know and make a resolution to report your sightings to the compiler this year .

                          Matt Bartels
                          Seattle, WA

                          Snowy Owl (2)Nyctea scandiaca




                            Subject: Queen Anne Snowy Owl
                            Date: 18 Jan
                            From: nagi.aboulenein AT gmail.com 
                            Hi All -

                            For unrelated reasons, my wife and I may find ourselves in Seattle tomorrow, with a little bit of time to kill. As best as I can tell, the Queen Anne Snowy Owl has been seen as recently as yesterday.

                            Have there been any sightings today (Jan 17)? Any info that might help us locate it tomorrow afternoon  would be appreciated at my email at: aboulenein at yahoo dot com .

                            Best regards,

                            Nagi Aboulenein



                            Subject: From Tweeters Administration - update #1 ("Incursions" Tweeters-linked invasion of your email)
                            Date: 13 Jan
                            From: elc AT uw.edu 
                            On this gorgeous day in the Puget Trough, here’s hoping each of you has enjoyed the respite (from torrents of rain) this day has offered this writer…

                            Tweeters has been hit from an unusual and malicious direction (onset Dec 29, 2020?), as a number of you know first-hand: certain posts being sent in are getting picked out, apparently before even reaching the electronic ‘guts’ of our listserv (“UW Mailman”). A cascade of unwanted, salacious messages with or without attached images have then started pouring into those unfortunate “ post-ers’ " inboxes: perhaps showing as a reply to that Tweeters post, and later as the flow of C@*P continues, perhaps with nothing shown in the subject line.

                            The UW’s IT department has worked with me in earnest since this S%#T began to surface, and there is little currently available in the way of an explanation for why these ‘low-lifes’ have targeted Tweeters subscribers. And most sadly, there is no systemic UW listserv repair or fortification we can put into place to stop the incursions; efforts by the IT experts at UW are continuing, be assured. On the individual level, each affected ‘post-er’ should know how to block senders (for what benefit that may offer), and should also consider the value of communicating with your internet service provider (ISO) for specific advice.

                            There are many more facts and specific replies that might be provided here, but in this first update, the primary messages are:
                            - - needing to take a huge group sigh and lament together
                            - - asking for your actions and cooperation, as directly below

                            1. Please do carry forth with all the fabulous exchange that has made Tweeters what it is today, and has been for these many decades.
                            2. Let’s try not to soil what is held and seen (and retained) in Tweeters; we can exclude that type of notoriety.
                            3. If you are affected because you have posted something, follow for now THIS set of requests to assist the search for solutions:
                            - please do not post into tweeters your report of the “incursion” … or even great suggestions you might have
                            - please do not forward the offending material
                            - consider sending a short report to us by writing to: tweeters-owner@mailman11.u.washington.edu
                            - in the subject line (title) kindly place "Incursions" Tweeters-linked invasion of email (or something of that sort)
                            - include screenshots of material (as well as whether you are a “Digest" or “Immediate”subscriber to tweeters)

                            Should anyone be hugely experienced in cyber-sleuthing, please do make contact (tweeters-owner@mailman11.u.washington.edu).
                            Stay tuned but not too attuned, for future updates. And a personal thank you to those who have taken the time to help in our investigations to date. Best wishes all!

                            Elaine Chuang, Seattle
                            List Administrator … along with Hal Opperman and Dan Victor, the original masterminds (est. 1992)

                            P.S. yesterday was Day 60 for our Emissary from the Arctic, that solitary Snowy Owl … and as of today, Queen Anne is fortunate to continue serving as her day roost.


                            _______________________________________________
                            Tweeters mailing list
                            Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                            http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



                            Subject: SNOW and SORA Saturday 1/9
                            Date: 10 Jan
                            From: stigeweard AT yahoo.com 
                            The Queen Anne Snowy Owl was present on rooftop at 2225 1st Ave W around noon and the Sora was at Green Lake around 1:30.

                            Advice for newbies at Green Lake... the walking loop is one-way counterclockwise. Best thing is to park on the southwest corner of the park where the RVs are parked just off of Aurora. Ed is a great ambassador for this little bird.

                            Deb Stewart
                            Clinton WA

                            Sent from my iPhone
                            _______________________________________________
                            Tweeters mailing list
                            Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                            http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



                            Subject: Any new on Queen Anne Snowy Owl?
                            Date: 10 Jan
                            From: 1northraven AT gmail.com 
                            this morning I went over to the published address on 2nd where the Snowy
                            Owl has been seen the last several days. I arrived shortly before 11:30
                            and walked the immediate area for 30 minutes, as about 6 other birders also
                            searched. when I returned to the specific address about 12:00, there was
                            still no sign of the owl, but there were 2 crows sitting high in a tree in
                            the back year, as tho waiting for the owl, just as we were (tho perhaps
                            with less benign intent ...). At that point I left, deciding that the owl
                            had likely moved on to a new place to rest during the day.

                            Chris Kessler
                            Seattle

                            --
                            "moderation in everything, including moderation"
                            Rustin Thompson



                            Subject: Eurasian Wigeon / Snowy Owl
                            Date: 03 Jan
                            From: dougsantoni AT gmail.com 
                            Seeing the post below about Eurasian Wigeons reminded that there were two beautiful male Eurasian Wigeons among the Wigeon flock at Green Lake Park (in Seattle) earlier this week (on Wednesday, December 30).  They were in the Green Lake Play Field, just west of where NE 71st Street meets Green Lake Way.  I did not see the Sora, but that location (small cattail marsh on SW side of the lake) yielded the only Shovelers and Green-winged Teal that I saw on my circuit walk around the lake.

                            I also saw the Snowy Owl this afternoon in the rain at about 4 pm on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. (Thank you, Elaine, for the views through your scope!).

                            Happy New Year, all. FOY bird for me was Anna’s Hummingbird.

                            Doug Santoni
                            Seattle

                            > On Jan 2, 2021, at 5:59 PM, J Christian Kessler <1northraven@gmail.com> wrote:
                            >
                            > This evening just at dusk I stopped at Matthews Beach (off Sand Point Way in NE Seattle).
                            > found at least 2 male & 1 female Eurasian Wigeon in with a flock of American Wigeon.
                            > also found a lone small white goose, about the size of a Snow Goose or slightly smaller; orange stocky legs and feet; but a yellow bill; black showing in the primaries but spotty, not one clean patch; and several black patches on the head, including one on the back of the head. otherwise the head was clean white. Will send iPhone pictures of goose on request. Interested on thoughts on possible ID (it's a hybrid something, I believe)
                            >
                            > Chris Kessler
                            > Seattle
                            >
                            > --
                            > "moderation in everything, including moderation"
                            > Rustin Thompson
                            > _______________________________________________
                            > Tweeters mailing list
                            > Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                            > http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



                            Subject: Snowy Owl Location Today?
                            Date: 01 Jan
                            From: mombiwheeler AT gmail.com 
                            Hi Toby & Tweeters,

                            It was still there as of 11:00 am or so. Here's the directions that I put
                            on eBird:

                            Still here. Best seen in the alley between W Boston and W McGraw and 1st
                            and 2nd Ave. W. If you walk toward McGraw from Boston down the alley past
                            the first two houses and just beyond the wooden fence, you'll be in front
                            of 2211 according to the garage. Look across the yard over the shorter
                            section of the wooden fence and you'll see it tucked under an eave on the
                            roof.

                            I live only a few blocks from there and was going to try to get this for my
                            FOY species, but as soon as I walked out of my house (pre-dawn), I heard an
                            A. Robin singing away. Oh well. Good luck!

                            Lonnie Somer
                            Seattle

                            On Fri, Jan 1, 2021 at 2:02 PM Toby wrote:

                            > Has anyone seen the Snowy Owl today and willing to share location? Please
                            > DM
                            >
                            > Toby
                            > _______________________________________________
                            > Tweeters mailing list
                            > Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                            > http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters
                            >



                            Subject: Snowy Owl Location Today?
                            Date: 01 Jan
                            From: tobeross AT gmail.com 
                            Has anyone seen the Snowy Owl today and willing to share location? Please DM

                            Toby
                            _______________________________________________
                            Tweeters mailing list
                            Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                            http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



                            Subject: Queen Anne Snowy Owl
                            Date: 31 Dec
                            From: coheberlein AT gmail.com 
                            I went today to see it again. No problem finding it on a rooftop next to
                            the chimney on 2nd Avenue just north of McClure. Wow!
                            I will be attending the WOS meeting on Monday night. I want to know more
                            about Snowy Owls.

                            --
                            Carolyn Finder Heberlein / Nana, Fremont Neighborhood, Seattle, Washington



                            Subject: WOS Meeting Reminder - Mon., Jan. 4: Snowy Owl: A Visual Natural History
                            Date: 30 Dec
                            From: vkbirder AT gmail.com 
                            Hi, Tweeters,

                            The Washington Ornithological Society (WOS) is pleased to invite you to
                            join us on Monday evening when acclaimed owl expert and award-winning
                            author and photographer Paul Bannick will be our presenter. You can look
                            forward to seeing stunning photographic images and to learning fascinating
                            information about the life of Snowy Owls.

                            What: Snowy Owl: A Visual Natural History
                            When: Monday, January 4, 7:30 pm
                            Where: Via GoToMeeting (Sign-in begins at 7:15 pm)

                            WOS Monthly Meetings remain open to all as we continue to welcome the wider
                            birding community to join us online via GoToMeeting.

                            For login information, go to http://wos.org/about-wos/monthly-meetings/.
                            While there, if you are not yet a member, please consider becoming one.

                            Join us and get 2021 off to a great start!

                            Vicki King
                            WOS Program Coordinator



                            Subject: Queen Ann Snowy Owl yes today (12/27)
                            Date: 27 Dec
                            From: peggy_busby AT yahoo.com 
                            Thanks to those who helped me with the Queen Ann location.  I was there today about 12:20pm and the owl was easily found (thanks to other birders already on it).  Amazing persistent presence by this lovely bird.
                            Peggy Mundy -  Bothell, WA - peggy_busbyATyahooDOTcom



                            Subject: Queen Anne
                            Date: 27 Dec
                            From: dick AT dkporter.net 
                            Is this joke 3 months and 5 days early????



                            From: Tweeters On Behalf Of B B
                            Sent: Saturday, December 26, 2020 12:27 PM
                            To: Tweeters
                            Subject: [Tweeters] Queen Anne



                            I hear that parking will be available at $20 a spot at the Queen Anne Snowy Owl stakeout on January 1st as birders throng to the area to begin their 2021 Year Lists!!! ;-)



                            Subject: Queen Anne
                            Date: 26 Dec
                            From: birder4184 AT yahoo.com 
                            I hear that parking will be available at $20 a spot at the Queen Anne Snowy Owl stakeout on January 1st as birders throng to the area to begin their 2021 Year Lists!!!  ;-)



                            Subject: Queen Ann Snowy?
                            Date: 26 Dec
                            From: peggy_busby AT yahoo.com 
                            I haven't taken the opportunity to see the Queen Ann Snowy Owl.  I see on eBird that someone reported seeing it yesterday.  I am not familiar with the Queen Ann neighborhood, can someone provide me with location information?  Thanks,
                            Peggy MundyBothell, WApeggy_busbyATyahooDOTcom



                            Subject: WOS Presentation, Mon., Jan. 4: Snowy Owl: A Visual Natural History with Paul Bannick
                            Date: 18 Dec
                            From: vkbirder AT gmail.com 
                            Snowy Owls, rare winter visitors in our area, exercise a magnetic appeal on
                            birders, photographers and anyone else fortunate enough to see them. But
                            how much do we actually know about them and the lives they lead? If your
                            answer is, "hmmm, I wish I knew more," I encourage you to mark your
                            calendar now for January 4 when Paul Bannick, author of the
                            recently-published *Snowy Owl: A Visual Natural History*, will be our
                            presenter.

                            Paul is an acclaimed owl expert and award-winning author and photographer.
                            He will present his stunning photographic images and information about
                            numerous fascinating aspects in the life of Snowy Owls.

                            What: Snowy Owl: A Visual Natural History with Paul Bannick
                            When: Monday, January 4, 7:30 pm
                            Where: Via GoToMeeting (Sign-in begins at 7:15 pm)

                            WOS Monthly Meetings remain open to all as we continue to welcome the wider
                            birding community to join us online via GoToMeeting.

                            For login information, go to http://wos.org/about-wos/monthly-meetings/.
                            While there, if you are not yet a member, I hope you will consider becoming
                            one.

                            Please mark your calendar now and join us to get your birding year off to a
                            great start.

                            Vicki King
                            WOS Program Coordinator



                            Subject: The Washington Post: Spotted owls could go extinct without more federal protection. But they’re not going to get it, Trump officials say.
                            Date: 16 Dec
                            From: 1northraven AT gmail.com 
                            I too would like to be optimistic, and expect that many travesties will be
                            quickly undone with Executive Orders. Unfortunately I fear this is not one
                            of those. I recently saw a similar article about the Monarch Butterfly,
                            and moving species to Endangered status has for a long time been impeded by
                            budget constraints -- something Congress has long failed to address. (And
                            while I'm sure it is sometimes an excuse, I doubt this is always or
                            entirely the case.) Given the state of the economy and the long-time state
                            of the Federal budget, too many of our priorities are going to remain unmet.

                            And I too am pleased with the irruptions from Canada, tho the swarm of Pine
                            Siskins on my feeder had tripled seed consumption.

                            Chris Kessler
                            Seattle

                            On Wed, Dec 16, 2020 at 6:05 AM THOMAS BENEDICT
                            wrote:

                            > I would like to be more optimistic. It's encouraging that cabinet
                            > secretaries and other government department heads will be replaced by
                            > Biden, but anything legislative is unlikely to go in the favor of
                            > environmentalists for a long time. Republicans (other than Trump) won the
                            > 2020 elections quite soundly and have been directed by their constituencies
                            > to not cooperate with Democrats, so gridlock will likely continue. So, for
                            > the foreseeable future we will continue to be ruled by presidential decree
                            > (execute order).
                            >
                            > This is one way in which parliamentary democracies have an advantage over
                            > our system. Leadership and government are more likely to be aligned, so
                            > gridlock is less likely. In our system the president may be elected, but
                            > they don't always have a mandate to lead.
                            >
                            > Anyhow, I'm hoping the damage done to environmental policies over the past
                            > few years can be quickly addressed. Lots of other policy needs to be
                            > addressed too, but they're off topic for this list.d
                            >
                            > Ironically, some bird species seem to be emigrating from Canada to the US
                            > this year (i.e. Pine Siskin irruption, Snowy Owl in Seattle, etc). They
                            > seem optimistic.
                            >
                            > Tom Benedict
                            > Seahurst, WA
                            >
                            > On 12/15/2020 10:26 PM Wayne Weber wrote:
                            >
                            > Luckily, Trump officials are only going to be in power for another month,
                            > so what they say is of no consequence. Let’s be optimistic.
                            >
                            > Wayne Weber
                            >
                            > Delta, BC
                            >
                            > contopus@telus.net
                            >
                            > *From:* Tweeters [mailto:tweeters-bounces@mailman11.u.washington.edu] *On
                            > Behalf Of *Dan Reiff
                            > *Sent:* Tuesday, December 15, 2020 2:51 PM
                            > *To:* Tweeters
                            > *Subject:* [Tweeters] The Washington Post: Spotted owls could go extinct
                            > without more federal protection. But they’re not going to get it, Trump
                            > officials say.
                            >
                            > *Spotted owls could go extinct without more federal protection. But
                            > they’re not going to get it, Trump officials say.*
                            > The northern spotted owl has lost 70 percent of its habitat to development
                            > and timber harvesting and could go extinct without added federal
                            > protection, the Trump administration announced Monday.
                            >
                            > Read in The Washington Post: https://apple.news/A8X8U_a-NQzm9_05DNJIQVw
                            >
                            > _______________________________________________
                            > Tweeters mailing list
                            > Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                            > http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters
                            >


                            --
                            "moderation in everything, including moderation"
                            Rustin Thompson



                            Subject: The Washington Post: Spotted owls could go extinct without more federal protection. But they’re not going to get it, Trump officials say.
                            Date: 16 Dec
                            From: benedict.t AT comcast.net 
                            I would like to be more optimistic. It's encouraging that cabinet secretaries and other government department heads will be replaced by Biden, but anything legislative is unlikely to go in the favor of environmentalists for a long time. Republicans (other than Trump) won the 2020 elections quite soundly and have been directed by their constituencies to not cooperate with Democrats, so gridlock will likely continue. So, for the foreseeable future we will continue to be ruled by presidential decree (execute order).

                            This is one way in which parliamentary democracies have an advantage over our system. Leadership and government are more likely to be aligned, so gridlock is less likely. In our system the president may be elected, but they don't always have a mandate to lead.

                            Anyhow, I'm hoping the damage done to environmental policies over the past few years can be quickly addressed. Lots of other policy needs to be addressed too, but they're off topic for this list.d

                            Ironically, some bird species seem to be emigrating from Canada to the US this year (i.e. Pine Siskin irruption, Snowy Owl in Seattle, etc). They seem optimistic.

                            Tom Benedict
                            Seahurst, WA

                            > On 12/15/2020 10:26 PM Wayne Weber wrote:
                            >
                            > Luckily, Trump officials are only going to be in power for another month, so what they say is of no consequence. Let’s be optimistic.
                            >
                            > Wayne Weber
                            >
                            > Delta, BC
                            >
                            > contopus@telus.net mailto:contopus@telus.net
                            >
                            > From: Tweeters [mailto:tweeters-bounces@mailman11.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Dan Reiff
                            > Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2020 2:51 PM
                            > To: Tweeters
                            > Subject: [Tweeters] The Washington Post: Spotted owls could go extinct without more federal protection. But they’re not going to get it, Trump officials say.
                            >
                            > Spotted owls could go extinct without more federal protection. But they’re not going to get it, Trump officials say.
                            > The northern spotted owl has lost 70 percent of its habitat to development and timber harvesting and could go extinct without added federal protection, the Trump administration announced Monday.
                            >
                            > Read in The Washington Post: https://apple.news/A8X8U_a-NQzm9_05DNJIQVw
                            >



                            Subject: Waterville Plateau today
                            Date: 15 Dec
                            From: edwardpullen AT gmail.com 
                            Today on the Waterville Plateau visibility was pretty good, fog later in
                            the day, and one of the two Snowy Owls reported by Shep last week was seen
                            near Atkins Lake again in the same place, jct One and M. No luck on
                            finding a Gyrfalcon, but a nice flock of American Tree Sparrows at the
                            first farm on D road north off 15th Rd NW. Good numbers of Snow Buntings
                            in many mixed flocks of Horned Larks. Nothing else really remarkable. Snow
                            cover was pretty good.
                            Good birding.
                            --
                            Ed Pullen
                            Listen to my podcast at The Bird Banter Podcast

                            available
                            on iTunes podcast store and other feeds.

                            Spotted Owl (2)Strix occidentalis




                              Subject: The Washington Post: Wild Card | Spotted owls could go extinct without more federal protection. But they’re not going to get it, Trump officials say.
                              Date: 16 Dec
                              From: ronpost4 AT gmail.com 
                              Trumpists will hopefully be extinct (figuratively) before Northern Spotted Owls.ronpost4@gmail.com Sent from Mail for Windows 10 From: dick
                              Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2020 9:04 PM
                              To: TWEETERS
                              Subject: [Tweeters] The Washington Post: Wild Card | Spotted owls could go extinct without more federal protection. But they’re not going to get it, Trump officials say. Disgusting!!
                               Dick Porter
                                 https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/12/14/spotted-owls-could-go-extinct-without-more-federal-protection-theyre-not-going-get-it-trump-officials-say/
                                  Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
                                

                              Great Gray Owl (2)Strix nebulosa




                                Subject: Okanogan County Birding
                                Date: 16 Jan
                                From: magicman32 AT rocketmail.com 
                                Hi all,

                                On Wednesday and Thursday I birded around the varied habitats of Okanogan County. Unfortunately the wind was quite strong on Wednesday, which conferred very few birds, but things really calmed down on Thursday, which turned out to be a gorgeous day!

                                I started out Wednesday morning along Fancher Rd, which runs through shrub steppe and fields along the eastern base of a tall cliff (the butte blocked the wind nicely!). I normally stop here in the hopes of a calling Chukar or maybe a soaring Golden Eagle. On this morning I got all this and more! I flushed two Gray Partridge off the road approaching the cliff, my first time seeing this species at this location. At the cliffs, three Chukar called along with a Canyon Wren as the sun warmed the fairly calm, sheltered air. My personal highlight was a soaring Golden Eagle, which alit on an exposed branch about halfway up the cliff, allowing wonderful views with great lighting. As I watched it, another Golden Eagle appeared, presumably the male of the pair that breeds here, and began its majestic swooping display right above my head!! Absolutely magical…

                                Well, it was all downhill from there. Emboldened by my great start to the morning, I eagerly charged up into the highlands and found…. very little. The wind howled, and the temperatures were unseasonably warm, keeping most birds in hiding. I scoured the highlands for five hours before turning tail, finding little more interesting than a small flock of Snow Buntings along Havillah Road and a few Red Crossbills along Hungry Hollow Rd. My 30 minute stint along Mary Anne Creek Rd (normally one of the premier spots) was indicative of the day: I saw a grand total of two Black-billed Magpies on the ENTIRE 6 miles road, despite multiple stops in the prime habitat. It was really slow… at least it was sunny and beautiful!

                                A bit discouraged, I decided Great Gray Owls and the like would be a fantasy on such a day, and opted to head down to Osoyoos Lake in hopes of waterfowl and gulls. Well, it was just as windy here, which made scoping for waterfowl very difficult and caused the gulls to wheel in the air, neglecting to present me with very good views. I was just about to give up, when suddenly the wind virtually stopped as the sun set! Finally I was able to get some bearing on the birds present, finding three Red-breasted Mergansers, 12 Trumpeter Swans, Barrow’s Goldeneyes, Herring, California and Olympic Gulls, and a Merlin. A pleasant respite to end the day…

                                Thursday was much more lucrative. I decided I would do something I had always wanted to do, but never really found the time for: walk the entirety of Cassimer Bar Wildlife Area. This place is truly awesome, and it is not birded even close to enough. It’s the kind of place that if situated near a larger populace could perhaps garner 240+ species and thousands of eBird lists. As it stands, there are still fewer than 200 checklists for the location, amounting to almost 190 species. Anyways, the birds! I found a number of interesting birds on my survey, including a continuing American White Pelican, Glaucous Gull, Virginia Rails and Marsh Wrens, as well Dunlin, Say’s Phoebe, Barn Owl, Hermit Thrush, Purple Finch, American Tree Sparrow, Cackling Goose, Pine Siskin, both Kinglets, Wilson’s Snipe and 15 species of duck. All of these are fairly difficult to come by in Okanogan county winters, so I was quite pleased! I totaled 57 species for the morning, easily my highest total at single location in January in Okanogan county. Below my report I will outline some tips for birding Cassimer Bar, in hopes that I can convince a couple birders to check out this fantastic place and find some great birds!

                                Afterwards, I crossed the road from Cassimer Bar and scoped the Okanogan River at the junction of hwy 17 and hwy 97, which was swarming with waterfowl! Here I estimated around 650 American Wigeon, though I was unable to pick out an Eurasian. It seems like the spot to do so, though! There was also a single Tundra Swan mixed in with 44 Trumpeter Swans, a Purple Finch, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Cedar Waxwings.

                                I drove to Grand Coulee afterwards, spending an unexciting 45 minutes hoping for gulls below the dam or at Electric City. My only sighting of any note was a continuing American Dipper below the dam. My real reason for coming this way was to bird the Columbia River west of Nespelem, something I had never done before. This place is vaunted as the only reliable place in Okanogan county for interesting gulls, attracted to three large aquiculture operations. Though the riverside access points were closed to non-tribal members due to COVID, I was able to spy some interesting birds right along the road. Oh, and did I mention that this area is just drop dead gorgeous?! Worth the trek for the scenery alone. On my drive there I had a Townsend’s Solitaire fly over my car and noticed several Northern Shrikes perched on telephone wires. Along the river, I found one spot along Nespelem Bar where I could scan perching gulls while Canyon Wrens called, finding a Thayer’s (Iceland) Gull, and one interesting 1CY gull that I believe was likely a Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull amongst the Herring, Ring-billed and Olympic Gulls. Not much else of note was around, but as I mentioned, it was gorgeous and I didn’t mind. I rounded out the day with 71 species, a lovely day of Okanogan birding.

                                Alright, now for the Cassimer Bar directions! Previously, I have mostly accessed the bar by parking at the pullout just east of the bridge on hwy 97 the crosses the Okanogan River. This can be good, but there’s a fair bit of road noise, it’s a fair walk out to the Columbia, and even once you get to the Columbia you can’t really view everything without walking further. Instead, I suggest you park at the west end of Cassimer Bar Rd (48.0960933, -119.7086949; this can be pretty muddy, but it’s entirely manageable in an AWD car) and walk south to the river at (48.0921492, -119.7107153). This is where many of the good birds I mentioned above were viewed from, including AWPE, GLGU, ATSP, SAPH, DUNL and more. This spot allows a nice view of the river, where you can identify almost all the waterfowl within view on Lake Pateros. From there, either walk west and complete a shorter loop back to the parking area, or if you’re feeling adventurous, walk south to this general area (48.0875577, -119.7067684), which has some nice thick trees. This is where the HETH, PUFI, BANO and most passerines were, and has prime habitat for something like a Long-eared Owls or migrants in the spring or fall. Cows have made some paths through the trees, making it fairly easy to get back into the thickets themselves. This area also often has mud in the fall, making it a good spot to look for shorebirds. From there, I would just backtrack and finish walking the loop. In this reasonable walk, you are able to cover the best parts of the bar, probably finding some cool birds!

                                Happy birding all,

                                Eric Heisey
                                _______________________________________________
                                Tweeters mailing list
                                Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                                http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters



                                Subject: Great Gray Owl Presentation Tomorrow Night, 1/7 at 7 pm!
                                Date: 06 Jan
                                From: krothnelson AT yahoo.com 
                                Tomorrow evening, North Cascades Institute and Skagit Audubon welcome award-winning author and photographer Paul Bannick for a virtual presentation on Great Gray Owls!
                                Paul will share an intimate look into the life history of this charismatic species combining his breathtaking images, firsthand accounts, video, sound, and science to help inspire conservation and education efforts as well as help spread awareness about the threats facing these owls and what we can do to protect them. You will also be given a chance to ask Paul all of your burning owl questions after his presentation. 
                                This presentation will take place tomorrow (Thursday, January 7th) at 7 pm and is only $5 to attend! In case you can't make it tomorrow, registrants will also have access to a recording of the presentation for 24 hours afterwards. 
                                This is just one part of a virtual series on owls with the next presentation on Snowy Owls happening Tuesday, January 19th. You can sign up for either or both classes at the following link: https://ncascades.org/signup/programs/classes  
                                Additionally, Paul is proud to have recently published two new books: Great Gray Owl: A Visual Natural History and Snowy Owl: A Visual Natural History. Both books feature several dozens of never-before-published images, some of which capture behaviors rarely witnessed and perhaps never photographed. The photos work with first-hand field accounts, which are illuminated by our most up-to-date understanding of these species. You can order signed of his books on his website.
                                I hope to see you all there!



                                Subject: The Birdbooker Report
                                Date: 20 Dec
                                From: birdbooker AT zipcon.net 
                                HI ALL:
                                This week's titles are:

                                1) Birds of East Africa (2nd edition)
                                2) The Gull Next Door
                                3-4) Snowy and Great Gray Owl (two books)
                                5) What Birds Eat
                                6) Eastbound through Siberia

                                https://birdbookerreport.blogspot.com/2020/12/new-titles.html

                                sincerely
                                Ian Paulsen
                                Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
                                Visit my BIRDBOOKER REPORT blog here:
                                https://birdbookerreport.blogspot.com/
                                _______________________________________________
                                Tweeters mailing list
                                Tweeters@u.washington.edu
                                http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters

                                Long-eared Owl (2)Asio otus




                                  Subject: Okanogan County Birding
                                  Date: 16 Jan
                                  From: magicman32 AT rocketmail.com 
                                  Hi all,

                                  On Wednesday and Thursday I birded around the varied habitats of Okanogan County. Unfortunately the wind was quite strong on Wednesday, which conferred very few birds, but things really calmed down on Thursday, which turned out to be a gorgeous day!

                                  I started out Wednesday morning along Fancher Rd, which runs through shrub steppe and fields along the eastern base of a tall cliff (the butte blocked the wind nicely!). I normally stop here in the hopes of a calling Chukar or maybe a soaring Golden Eagle. On this morning I got all this and more! I flushed two Gray Partridge off the road approaching the cliff, my first time seeing this species at this location. At the cliffs, three Chukar called along with a Canyon Wren as the sun warmed the fairly calm, sheltered air. My personal highlight was a soaring Golden Eagle, which alit on an exposed branch about halfway up the cliff, allowing wonderful views with great lighting. As I watched it, another Golden Eagle appeared, presumably the male of the pair that breeds here, and began its majestic swooping display right above my head!! Absolutely magical…

                                  Well, it was all downhill from there. Emboldened by my great start to the morning, I eagerly charged up into the highlands and found…. very little. The wind howled, and the temperatures were unseasonably warm, keeping most birds in hiding. I scoured the highlands for five hours before turning tail, finding little more interesting than a small flock of Snow Buntings along Havillah Road and a few Red Crossbills along Hungry Hollow Rd. My 30 minute stint along Mary Anne Creek Rd (normally one of the premier spots) was indicative of the day: I saw a grand total of two Black-billed Magpies on the ENTIRE 6 miles road, despite multiple stops in the prime habitat. It was really slow… at least it was sunny and beautiful!

                                  A bit discouraged, I decided Great Gray Owls and the like would be a fantasy on such a day, and opted to head down to Osoyoos Lake in hopes of waterfowl and gulls. Well, it was just as windy here, which made scoping for waterfowl very difficult and caused the gulls to wheel in the air, neglecting to present me with very good views. I was just about to give up, when suddenly the wind virtually stopped as the sun set! Finally I was able to get some bearing on the birds present, finding three Red-breasted Mergansers, 12 Trumpeter Swans, Barrow’s Goldeneyes, Herring, California and Olympic Gulls, and a Merlin. A pleasant respite to end the day…

                                  Thursday was much more lucrative. I decided I would do something I had always wanted to do, but never really found the time for: walk the entirety of Cassimer Bar Wildlife Area. This place is truly awesome, and it is not birded even close to enough. It’s the kind of place that if situated near a larger populace could perhaps garner 240+ species and thousands of eBird lists. As it stands, there are still fewer than 200 checklists for the location, amounting to almost 190 species. Anyways, the birds! I found a number of interesting birds on my survey, including a continuing American White Pelican, Glaucous Gull, Virginia Rails and Marsh Wrens, as well Dunlin, Say’s Phoebe, Barn Owl, Hermit Thrush, Purple Finch, American Tree Sparrow, Cackling Goose, Pine Siskin, both Kinglets, Wilson’s Snipe and 15 species of duck. All of these are fairly difficult to come by in Okanogan county winters, so I was quite pleased! I totaled 57 species for the morning, easily my highest total at single location in January in Okanogan county. Below my report I will outline some tips for birding Cassimer Bar, in hopes that I can convince a couple birders to check out this fantastic place and find some great birds!

                                  Afterwards, I crossed the road from Cassimer Bar and scoped the Okanogan River at the junction of hwy 17 and hwy 97, which was swarming with waterfowl! Here I estimated around 650 American Wigeon, though I was unable to pick out an Eurasian. It seems like the spot to do so, though! There was also a single Tundra Swan mixed in with 44 Trumpeter Swans, a Purple Finch, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Cedar Waxwings.

                                  I drove to Grand Coulee afterwards, spending an unexciting 45 minutes hoping for gulls below the dam or at Electric City. My only sighting of any note was a continuing American Dipper below the dam. My real reason for coming this way was to bird the Columbia River west of Nespelem, something I had never done before. This place is vaunted as the only reliable place in Okanogan county for interesting gulls, attracted to three large aquiculture operations. Though the riverside access points were closed to non-tribal members due to COVID, I was able to spy some interesting birds right along the road. Oh, and did I mention that this area is just drop dead gorgeous?! Worth the trek for the scenery alone. On my drive there I had a Townsend’s Solitaire fly over my car and noticed several Northern Shrikes perched on telephone wires. Along the river, I found one spot along Nespelem Bar where I could scan perching gulls while Canyon Wrens called, finding a Thayer’s (Iceland) Gull, and one interesting 1CY gull that I believe was likely a Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull amongst the Herring, Ring-billed and Olympic Gulls. Not much else of note was around, but as I mentioned, it was gorgeous and I didn’t mind. I rounded out the day with 71 species, a lovely day of Okanogan birding.

                                  Alright, now for the Cassimer Bar directions! Previously, I have mostly accessed the bar by parking at the pullout just east of the bridge on hwy 97 the crosses the Okanogan River. This can be good, but there’s a fair bit of road noise, it’s a fair walk out to the Columbia, and even once you get to the Columbia you can’t really view everything without walking further. Instead, I suggest you park at the west end of Cassimer Bar Rd (48.0960933, -119.7086949; this can be pretty muddy, but it’s entirely manageable in an AWD car) and walk south to the river at (48.0921492, -119.7107153). This is where many of the good birds I mentioned above were viewed from, including AWPE, GLGU, ATSP, SAPH, DUNL and more. This spot allows a nice view of the river, where you can identify almost all the waterfowl within view on Lake Pateros. From there, either walk west and complete a shorter loop back to the parking area, or if you’re feeling adventurous, walk south to this general area (48.0875577, -119.7067684), which has some nice thick trees. This is where the HETH, PUFI, BANO and most passerines were, and has prime habitat for something like a Long-eared Owls or migrants in the spring or fall. Cows have made some paths through the trees, making it fairly easy to get back into the thickets themselves. This area also often has mud in the fall, making it a good spot to look for shorebirds. From there, I would just backtrack and finish walking the loop. In this reasonable walk, you are able to cover the best parts of the bar, probably finding some cool birds!

                                  Happy birding all,

                                  Eric Heisey
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                                  Subject: BirdNote, last week and the week of Jan. 17, 2021
                                  Date: 16 Jan
                                  From: ellenblackstone AT gmail.com 
                                  Hello, Tweeters,

                                  Aired last week on BirdNote:
                                  * Why Do Owls Bob Their Heads?
                                  http://bit.ly/1PmYGxD
                                  * The Hoopoe’s Smelly Family
                                  http://bit.ly/3ig9t49
                                  * Why Do Some Birds Flock?
                                  http://bit.ly/2FwbAgo
                                  * Long-eared Owls Fly at Night
                                  http://bit.ly/3bPONyN
                                  * Why Arctic Terns Have Short Beaks
                                  http://bit.ly/2m1w6gL
                                  * Why Do Grebes Eat Their Feathers
                                  http://bit.ly/3oRAahT
                                  * Hooded Merganser
                                  http://bit.ly/2iRD1VZ
                                  =========================
                                  Next week on BirdNote: The Noisy Willet +
                                  Treeswift Nest - Exquisite Minimalism,
                                  61 Tons of Robins, and more!
                                  http://bit.ly/38LBJse
                                  --------------------------------------
                                  Did you have a favorite story this week? Another comment?
                                  Please let us know. mailto:info@birdnote.org
                                  ------------------------------------------------
                                  Sign up for the podcast: https://birdnote.org/get-podcasts-rss
                                  Find us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/birdnoteradio?ref=ts
                                  ... or follow us on Twitter. https://twitter.com/birdnoteradio
                                  or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/birdnoteradio/
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                                  ========================
                                  You can listen to the mp3, see photos, and read the transcript for a show,
                                  plus sign up for weekly mail or the podcast and find related resources on
                                  the website. https://www.birdnote.org
                                  You'll find 1600+ episodes and more than 1200 videos in the archive
                                  Thanks for listening!

                                  Take care, stay safe, and enjoy the birds!
                                  Ellen Blackstone, BirdNote

                                  Northern Saw-whet Owl (2)Aegolius acadicus




                                    Subject: Gorge Lake RB Merganser
                                    Date: 20 Dec
                                    From: garybletsch AT yahoo.com 
                                    Dear Tweeters,
                                    Today (the 19th December 2020) was the North Cascades Christmas Bird Count, variously also known as the Futility Bowl, the Where-the-heck-are-the-birds Tally, and the How Wet Can We Get Bird Cense-less. This count takes place up in the Newhalem-Diablo area, mostly in Whatcom County, with a bit of Skagit at the western edge of the count circle.
                                    Because of the plague, the parties for all 4 areas were hermetically sealed from one another, and consisted of solo birders, and/or parties made up of married couples who live together.
                                    The weather was surprisingly good until early afternoon, but the birding was astoundingly slow, at least in my area, which runs from just above Newhalem to Diablo, and a bit beyond. Back in 1992, we had a snowstorm that lasted most of the day, and my Area 3 party found only 7 species--but we did see 245 individuals. 
                                    Today I managed 13 species, but only 46 individual birds, 15 of which were Buffleheads. Astoundingly enough, I was not able to find a single Chestnut-backed Chickadee or Golden-crowned Kinglet all day, despite spending five and a half hours walking close to six miles in coniferous and mixed forest habitats!
                                    However, as with most birding days, there were a few highlights. I started off owling before dawn, and found a Northern Saw-whet Owl tooting away at the Newhalem Visitor Center, where I have found them before. 
                                    The bird of the day, though, was a drake RED-BREASTED MERGANSER on Gorge Lake. I think that was only the fourth time the species has been tallied on this CBC, going back to 1988. It was only the second one I'd ever seen in the Upper Skagit, the previous one being a female back in May of 2016, on the lower Baker River in Concrete.
                                    Yours truly,
                                    Gary Bletsch

                                    Red-cockaded Woodpecker (2)Picoides borealis




                                      Subject: BirdNote, last week and the week of Jan. 10, 2021
                                      Date: 09 Jan
                                      From: ellenblackstone AT gmail.com 
                                      Hello, Tweeters,

                                      Heard last week on BirdNote:
                                      * Ptarmigan in Winter
                                      http://bit.ly/3nv32Le
                                      * Jaywalking
                                      http://bit.ly/UhpqWP
                                      * Outdoors with the Urban Bird Collective
                                      http://bit.ly/3q5tZXL
                                      * Birds That Whistle
                                      http://bit.ly/1CaEFr6
                                      * Saving the Red-cockaded Woodpecker
                                      http://bit.ly/2Lf1FTW
                                      * Birds, Nests, and Camouflage
                                      http://bit.ly/1DO23wH
                                      * Sooty Tern - Wide-awake Bird
                                      http://bit.ly/Skj8XV
                                      ======================== Next week on BirdNote: The Hoopoe's Smelly Family
                                      + Why Do Owls Bob Their Heads? + "Hoodies" and more!
                                      http://bit.ly/3bpQ4fM
                                      --------------------------------------
                                      Did you have a favorite story this week? Another comment?
                                      Please let us know. mailto:info@birdnote.org
                                      ------------------------------------------------
                                      Sign up for the podcast: https://birdnote.org/get-podcasts-rss
                                      Find us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/birdnoteradio?ref=ts
                                      ... or follow us on Twitter. https://twitter.com/birdnoteradio
                                      or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/birdnoteradio/
                                      Listen on Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/birdnote
                                      ========================
                                      You can listen to the mp3, see photos, and read the transcript for a show,
                                      plus sign up for weekly mail or the podcast and find related resources on
                                      the website. https://www.birdnote.org
                                      You'll find 1600+ episodes and more than 1200 videos in the archive
                                      Thanks for listening!

                                      Take care, stay safe, and enjoy the birds!
                                      Ellen Blackstone, BirdNote

                                      White-winged Crossbill (2)Loxia leucoptera




                                        Subject: continuing in King County
                                        Date: 10 Jan
                                        From: panmail AT mailfence.com 
                                        Hi, Tweets,

                                        I can verify the continuing presence of:
                                        Yellow-bellied Sapsucker near Fall City, this morning from 8:23-8:48, in the tree with yellow-green apples;
                                        Rusty Blackbird, from just across the river, from the blocked north end of Neal Road;
                                        White-winged Crossbill, about 20 feeding in a spruce, seen from the parking area for Granite Creek Flats around 1:20. With tips, I also got to see a dipper and a couple of mountain goats with spectacular snowy Russian Butte in the background (but no Red Crossbills).

                                        9 January, 2021,

                                        Alan Grenon
                                        Seattle

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                                        Subject: more Snohomish Co. White-winged Crossbills
                                        Date: 07 Jan
                                        From: dpoortinga AT yahoo.com 
                                        I am at Lake Armstrong boat launch just north of Arlington. White-winged Crossbills have been audible almost constantly. I got eyes on a flock of about 25 at the power line cut 1/4 mile south.

                                        David PoortingaArlington WA



                                        Subject: Sick and dying Siskins and other finches (long)
                                        Date: 06 Jan
                                        From: gorgebirds AT juno.com 
                                        I haven't handled any of this year's Pine Siskins but am not surprised by the reports of low body weight as a poor food crop in the east has forced these birds westward. The 2020-2021 Winter Finch Forecast from the Finch Network examines the finch and waxwing food crops across the northern forests and predicts where the birds will move to based on food supplies. For Pine Siskins it says this: "It looks to be a flight year for several species in the East. Most cone crops average poor to fair from Lake Superior eastward with Eastern White Pine being the exception. Spruce crops increase west from Lake Superior from fair to excellent in Western Canada and Alaska. White-winged Crossbills and often Pine Siskins prefer to move east or west rather than go south in search of cone crops."  Winter Finch Forecast – FINCH RESEARCH NETWORK (finchnetwork.org)  Wilson Cady
                                        Columbia River Gorge, WA

                                        ---------- Original Message ----------
                                        From: Steven Dammer
                                        To: "dan&erika"
                                        Cc: Tweeters , dpdvm@whidbey.com
                                        Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Sick and dying Siskins and other finches (long)
                                        Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2021 19:40:16 -0800


                                        This is some good insight.

                                        I had a feeling the superflight caused a massive level of exhaustion amongst finches competing with one another as they search for food. While it sounds like Salmonella is a possibility, I'm noticing with the Pine Siskins at my feeder a lot of fighting, and the one I was able to approach and have hop on my finger was getting the worst of it. With populations of finches exploding from the spring surplus, the prevalence of weaker birds also increases, so I'm guessing it's just natural selection on a more noticeable scale. Could be a lot of things! But just as a precaution it never hurts to clean the feeder out a bit more often just in case.. -Steven
                                        On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 2:47 PM dan&erika wrote:Dave and other Tweeters-- The comments that Dave made about siskins are interesting and I am inclined to believe he is correct. My 2 cents to this conversation is that siskins have just this month discovered our banding station in Olympia. The birds we have banded this year have been remarkably emaciated, perhaps indicating that they have been having great difficulty finding food sources. dan
                                        On Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 2:40 PM wrote:Hello Tweeters,

                                        As a veterinarian who treats wildlife, I would like to weigh into the conversation concerning Salmonellosis in sick and dying Siskins and other finches. I have done more than my share of attempting to treat (always futile) and euthanization of these sick birds.

                                        Important fact - Salmonella is a natural and normal inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tracts of almost all birds, reptiles and amphibians. These bacteria do little or no harm to a healthy individual and perhaps may be beneficial. As an aside, better cook that chicken or turkey very well! During commercial poultry processing, it is almost impossible to avoid some fecal contamination of the meat.

                                        Do feeders play an important role in the transmission of Salmonellosis? There are so many variables it is difficult to sort them all out. Why is it the case that some individuals who rarely clean their feeders report no cases of sick finches while others who clean and bleach their feeders every day report many cases? Why are these cases seen mostly in winter? Why finches and not chickadees, nuthatches or woodpeckers? Does the finches’ habit of staying at a feeder for long periods contribute? Are finches more susceptible to Salmonella? Are feeders really the source of overwhelming Salmonella infections? Do sick Siskins get sick elsewhere and then gravitate to feeders because of the easy food supply?

                                        Winter is a tough time for all wildlife, especially the very young who haven’t quite figured out how to make a living and the very old. A missed meal during cold wet weather could mean a downward spiral. It is impossible to identify a mildly sick bird because prey animals hide any sign of weakness until they can’t anymore. Those fluffed birds camped out at your feeder are dying and likely cannot be helped.

                                        Since every bird already harbors Salmonella bacteria, it is my opinion (and JUST an opinion!) that the birds that are dying from Salmonellosis almost always have some preexisting condition that makes them more susceptible to the disease. They may be malnourished, weak, unable to stay warm, or have some other concurrent disease. The Salmonella takes over in these situations and causes death. Our own bodies contain billions of beneficial E. coli bacteria but if these organisms are in the wrong place at the wrong time they can cause a serious infection.

                                        So, what about feeders as a cause of dying birds? Maybe, but I believe we may save more birds by feeding them especially during the torrential rains we are experiencing or when snow covers the ground. Again, this is controversial and there appears to be no right or wrong answer. Should we thoroughly clean our feeders? Definitely, fungal and other pathogens as well as Salmonella, lurk in feeders. The frequency of cleaning is up to you.

                                        I hope this has been food for thought. Definitely a lot of unanswered questions!

                                        Happy New Year!

                                        Dave Parent DVM dpdvm@whidbey.com Freeland, WA

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                                        Dan or Erika Tallman
                                        Olympia, Washington
                                        danerika@gmail.com

                                        http://dantallmansbirdblog.blogspot.com

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