[Tweeters] Newhalem BBS and Marblemount Gray Catbird

Ryan Merrill rjm284 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 9 19:33:07 PDT 2013

I was up the Skagit Valley this morning to run the Newhalem Breeding
Bird Survey. For those not familiar with these surveys, they're
coordinated through USGS and completed by hundreds of birders across
the country during the summer season. They're started fifteen minutes
before sunrise and consist of a series of 50 three minute point counts
spaced about a half mile apart. More information about the surveys
can be found here:


The Newhalem BBS route has been surveyed every year since 1968 though
this is only my second year running it since taking over for Bob
Kuntz. It starts just east of Newhalem and ends downstream of
Marblemount. Today's survey resulted in 704 individuals of 62
species. Among the most common birds were 35 Hammond's Flycatchers,
31 Warbling Vireos, 68 Swainson's Thrush, 102 American Robins and 28
MacGillivray's Warblers. Other highlights included a drumming Ruffed
Grouse, a Western Kingbird, eight Bank Swallows, an American Redstart,
and six Lazuli Buntings.

After the survey there was a singing GRAY CATBIRD at the Marblemount
boat launch. It was near the river on the north side of Cascade River
Rd, visible from the road itself if you stand east of the bridge and
look north.


Yesterday evening there was an Eastern Kingbird on Martin Road and
today there was one in Marblemount. Three Western Kingbirds were on
the fencelines near Corkindale Creek. A Veery was singing and calling
at the Agg Ponds near Newhalem last night, easily heard from the
parking area along Highway 20. Lazuli Buntings have been all over the
place for the past few weeks. Chipping Sparrows had been widespread
as well, but today the only place I found them was at Diablo.

Good birding
Ryan Merrill

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