[Tweeters] Whidbey Island birding 7/19-20
tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 20 13:33:12 PDT 2013
I spent all of Friday and half of today combing Whidbey Island for my year list. I was hoping mostly to catch flycatchers before they stopped singing and also to be late enough into the month to get some shorebird diversity. It was a successful trip on both counts.
Friday morning I woke up too late for Barn Owls (when is 5 am "sleeping in"?), but I quickly got Olive-sided and Willow Flycatchers, Western Wood Pewee and Western Tanager as I drove from South Whidbey S.P. towards the freeway. At the pond at Coles Road I had three Common Nighthawks as the best surprise bird of the trip.
I blew the timing for shorebirds at Deer Lagoon, either catching it completely empty or full. Greater Yellowlegs , Caspian Terns, Bonapartes Gulls and a pure white Barn Swallow were the highlight there.
Crockett Lake had hundreds of peeps, mostly least and western sandpipers, but also a Baird's Sandpiper for me on Friday, and a Black Bellied Plover and a flock of Semipalmated Plovers on Saturday. Heermann's gulls have arrived, Purple martins are still around, and I was also able to find a couple House Wrens at Fort Casey.
Farther north Bos Lake had many distant peeps... Too far out for my scope.. Breeding plumages Ruddy Ducks and a Log-billed Dowitcher were the other highlights.
I was amazed by the number of Rhinoceros Auklets at most saltwater stops. It was not until late Friday that I found a Common Murre after looking at hundreds of rhinos and Pigeon Guillemots.
I added enough birds in the end to reach 150 for the year in the county! :)
Tim--Sent from my car in the ferry line.
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