Date: 1/1/18 4:28 pm From: Josh Adams <xjoshx...> Subject: [Tweeters] Snohomish Golden Eage, Year Listing, etc.
Hello Tweets, About 3pm this afternoon I glanced out my living room window and saw a distant spec circling on the horizon. As I do a couple dozen times most days, I grabbed my bins and took to get a better view and pretty quickly realized I needed to step outside to get a better view of this bird.
The first thing that was obvious, was that it soared with its wings held in dihedral. I actually briefly considered Turkey Vulture until more field marks became obvious. It had a white band on the upper side of the base of the tail, and white spots near the ends of the underwings. It also was obviously longer winged and larger than any buteo. I ran inside to grab my scope, but by the time I got back out and set it up the bird could not be relocated. I would've liked to have seen the head size and color, but I feel I definitely saw enough to confirm it was a Golden Eagle.
Interestingly enough, on 12/14 I had a possible juvenile Golden Eagle in that same general area, but that bird was not seen well enough to confirm my suspicions.
The bird was in the vicinity of the base of the north end of Lord Hill. Some of you might remember this as the location a Gyrfalcon has wintered on several occasions including winter 2013/2014.
To respond to Sammy Catiis' question yesterday, 2017 was a pretty mixed year for birding-wise. The bird of my second daughter and a very busy year at work meant that I probably spent less time birding in 2017 than I have since I started and had many frustrating dips.
With that said, there were still two major highlights. The first was that this was my first full calendar year in my current home, which has been even birdier than I expect when we moved in. I saw or hear 141 bird species in and around my yard in 2017, with highlights being Sandhill Crane, Mountain Bluebird, Dusky Flycatcher, and American White Pelican. Today's Golden Eagle will bring my total list to 146.
My other highlight was a trip to Montana in June where I managed to find every species I was targeting. Lifers included McCown's Longspur, Mountain Plover, Sprague's Pipit, Baird's Sparrow, and Pinyon Jay. For anyone looking for a birding spot you can drive to in a day, I highly recommend the short-grass prairie of central Montana and the areas around it.