[Tweeters] Whidbey Island Trip

Paul Webster paul.webster at comcast.net
Thu Dec 5 19:11:29 PST 2013


Hi Tweets,

Yesterday, December 4th, Steve Dang, Barbara, birded Whidbey Island again.
We had generally clear weather with only a few scattered clouds, and the
lack of wind made for good birding -- despite temps ranging from 28 to 37
degrees F.

Our route took us at dawn to Clinton Beach County Park, where our first
bird was a BEWICK'S WREN that returned to our attention when we thought we
had spotted a BROWN CREEPER in a multi-trunked red alder. But, no, the
Creeper didn't look quite right -- instead, it turned out to be the BEWR
inching its way, creeper-fashion, up the tree. We drove on to Deer Lake
where we birded the lake and the adjacent neighborhood, where found a HAIRY
and a DOWNY WOODPECKER in the same small tree. Across the island, at Dave
Mackie County Park in Maxwelton we found few birds in the water, compared
with what we had expected. But we did find AMERICAN WIGEON, SURF SCOTER,
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, COMMON and RED-THROATED LOONS. We also found the
first of three LINCOLN'S SPARROWS of the day in a blackberry bramble next
to the park. The marsh on Ewing Rd was mostly frozen over, but there was
still open water for some dabbling ducks, and a BALD EAGLE was briefly
harassed by a RED-TAILED HAWK by the road. The Lincoln Street marsh and
shoreline was a busy place, and here we found the best bird of the day: a
tan-striped WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. On the shoreline a lone SANDERLING
mixed with a flock of DUNLIN, and Barbara found our only EURASIAN WIGEON of
the day. In the marsh itself we saw one VIRGINIA RAIL and heard calls from
two others.

After birding the east end of Deer Lagoon, we stopped in Bayview to get out
of the cold and have some hot coffee. Then we returned to the west end of
Deer Lagoon for more waterfowl, before heading to the northwest side of the
Island. We stopped at Libbey Beach Park for HARLEQUIN DUCKS, WHITE-WINGED
SCOTERS, our first LONG-TAILED DUCKS of the day, and a lone PIGEON
GUILLEMOT. As we drove north we saw nothing new (great close-up views of
six LONG-TAILED DUCKS at Hastie Lake Landing!) until we found a
first-winter NORTHERN SHRIKE on the slope above the south shore of Bos
Lake. The sun was setting as we turned into the Oak Harbor Marina, where we
located a large mixed flock of SURFBIRDS and BLACK TURNSTONES, accompanied
by a few LEAST SANDPIPERS on the log boom by the boat launch. In the fading
light we drove to Dugualla Lake where, unfortunately, most of the ducks
were well off-shore and we could only make out the lone silhouette of a
female HOODED MERGANSER.

For the day our total was 80 species. Thanks again to Steve for outstanding
navigation through the by-ways of Whidbey Island!

Good birding!

Paul Webster
Seattle
paul.webster AT comcast.net
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