Today (the twelfth) was supposed to be rainy, but it turned out to be a reasonably fair day, with just a bit of light drizzle occasionally. I birded a few spots in Skagit County, and saw some fun birds. Here are a few highlights.
--Winter birds are returning to Minkler Flats; there was a good-sized flock of gulls, mostly Mew Gulls. I am hoping that some of the less common gulls can join the flocks here.
--Perched in a deciduous tree overlooking the south end of Padilla Bay, a dark Harlan's Hawk was at the campground of the Swinomish Casino today. It was less skittish than Harlan's Hawks usually are, and allowed me to drive fairly close for some bad photos.
--There was a Northern Shrike at March Point. Goodly flocks of Buffleheads and Common Goldeneyes are now appearing on the bays, and both species were easy to observe today.
--At Green Point was a single Heermann's Gull and a little band of seven Harlequin Ducks. There were large numbers of Brandt's Cormorants and Pigeon Guillemots out there, in the hundreds.
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