Thursday, January 31, 2013

On Diann MacRea- biologist, birder

Years ago at a Skagit Audubon meeting , Diann was presenting her project of monitoring raptors, specifically Turkey Vultures migrating southward from British Columbia. After the meeting , I handed Diann a notice that I was observing goshawks on North Whidbey Island.
Years later, while I was posting some of my goshawk sightings on the listserv, under Tweeters, Diann just had to chime in saying- Let me add my two cents, I have been monitoring Turkey Vulture migration for a number of years as they travel southward through the San Juan Islands, and I have never observed a Goshawk.
 So what does that have to do with me and my Goshawks? I say if you do not live near a major or secondary migration route, that you will probably never observe a Cooper's hawk or  goshawk in migration. In my 18 years of chasing and tracking (visually) Northern goshawks, I have only observed 3 goshawks in migration. 1 in New Jersey, and 1 each at Grand Canyon, and north of Grand Canyon. I do not recall ever observing a Cooper's Hawk in migration outside of its major or minor migration route. I say that eastern Puget Sound is not a major nor minor migration route. But, many  Turkey Vultures pass through in migration.

Then later on, I observed Diann's publication, and where she told of goshawk in Bothell, which is about 15 miles from Seattle. This does not surprise me, as I have observed the goshawk soaring over Seattle and south of Tacoma. I know that goshawks are moving into cities and suburbs.

So what is this posting all about? Diann MacRea is saying that she can observe and at the same time identify goshawks, while Nelson Briefer cannot observe and at the same time identify Goshawks.
I will say it again- There is no person or organization that know more of Goshawk migration, habitat, and distribution than what I know. Yet, I know very little of Goshawks. For example, I have never observed a goshawk nest, I have never observed a goshawk take prey, I have never observed a documentary on goshawks. I am just satisfied with being  a hawk watcher. I am not supposed to observe many Northern goshawks, or more to the point, the same goshawks over and over again. This is why I am called - The man who saw too many Goshawks.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Birders are whimps

21 January-  Here is one example: A birder reads of a report, over the internet, that Miss Jones has reported an unusual bird. The birder goes to the area the next day and observes the the bird, the very bird she wanted to observe. So in her report to the listserv, she reports on finding the bird, "Miss Jones' bird" (find).
Firstly, the bird had already been reported a day earlier. Secondly, the bird most recently reported does not have to be the same bird as reported by Miss Jones. So, in order to be correct, or what she thinks is scientific, or good reporting, the birder may be incorrect. More to the point, in order to respect Miss Jones, and not steal her thunder, and to give her credit so as not to step on her toes, the birder had to insert Miss Jones' name.
Birders are so thoughtful and considerate, and are wimps. Many birders are left- wingers, and some are ultra, left-wingers. I will report on some of the ultra, left-wingers!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Skagit Audubon with blinders

From at Washington Tweeters, from Gary Bletsch, an advanced birder- very active in Skagit Audubon. Gary is also a field -trip leader, and also travels many areas of the world to observe birds.
06 Jan 2013  "Skagit 2012  "missing" birds"
Dear Tweeters, There are a number of species for which we don't have any records for Skagit County. If anyone has any sightings for these 2012 Skagit birds, please let me know.
Redhead; White-Tailed Ptarmigan; Western screech owl; Northern goshawk; Horned Lark; Lapland Longspur; Clay-Colored Sparrow; Gray-crowned Rosy Finch. Yours truly, Gary Bletsch.

On 7 January, I emailed Gary to inform him to observe concerning my sightings, and also informed Gary of my report to the WOS of a Clay-Colored Sparrow.
I will have more to report on concerning this issue.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

goshawk report for 2012

I had 17 daily sightings - all in city limits of Anacortes except 1 sighting on D'arcy Road, Samish Flats ( male), and at Skagit Regional Airport, doubles (female). Doubles were also observed over Mount Erie School. All goshawks were in flight, and were not in migration. These are resident hawks. One NG did go to perch. I don't know how many NG are hunting in Anacortes, as I could not grasp the situation of making each hawk an individual entity. I must have this information in order to verify a particular NG: age, sex, tail length, tail-tip structure, and thickness of terminal band.
17 daily sightings is not a lot of sightings considering that as a guesstimate, I put in 575 hours of hawk watching, looking deep into the sky.
There are at least 2 NG hunting in Anacortes. Of course I am observing the same NG over and over again.