[Tweeters] Eastside Audubon trip to Whidbey Island 23 Oct
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Wed Oct 23 18:30:11 PDT 2013
Eastside Audubon took a bird trip to Whidbey Island today. The day started out very foggy (down on the ground) and essentially stayed that way all day close to the water. By the time we turned off I-5 on the way to Fir Island we had seen a couple of AMERICAN CROWS and EUROPEAN STARLINGs. It was so foggy on Fir Island, with the pipeline construction) that we didn't see any birds until we got near to Rawlins Road when we saw a perched RED-TAILED HAWK.
The Valentine Road feeders were empty and birdless - first time that has happened, but in a twig overhead was an ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD. On Dodge Valley Road we saw an AMERICAN KESTREL, and a bit later we had a MERLIN in a field with prey it had caught. The telephone lines were croweded with EUROPEAN STARLINGs, RED-WINGED and BREWER'S BLACKBIRDs. All of these views were dim because of the fog. Just as we came into LaConner in a pond we saw MALLARD, and AMERICAN WIGEON, and across the street in the marsh there was a GREAT BLUE HERON.
Rosario Beach was really fogged in, but we saw HARLEQUIN DUCK, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, and HORNED GREBE. On land we had SONG and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWs and SPOTTED TOWHEE and DARK-EYED JUNCO. A RED-TAILED HAWK was also present.
At Deception Pass State Park West Beach there was a big assembly of gulls including MEW, CALIFORNIA, HEERMANN'S and GLAUCOUS-WINGED. A BELTED KINGFISHER was hanging out along the road by Cranberry Lake.
At the lake at Dugualla Bay we saw CANVASBACK, RING-NECKED DUCK, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREATER and LESSER SCAUP and BUFFLEHEAD, and further out many unidentified ducks due to the fog. Down at the Oak Harbor Marina we saw a couple of distant HORNED GREBEs, a COMMON LOON, and some BLACK TURNSTONEs and DUNLIN. Also a BELTED KINGFISHER. A KILLDEER was seen on a lawn in Oak Harbor.
As we left Oak Harbor it was clearing and we were hopeful for the rest of the day, but as we approached Bos Lake the fog dropped in really densely. At the edge of Bos Lake we could see RUDDY DUCK, a couple of GREATER SCAUP and some MALLARDs. We turned on Fort Nugent Road and went to Fort Nugent Park and ate lunch in the sunshine. There we saw SONG SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, WHITE-CROWNED and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWs. As we were leaving the park a group of CANADA GEESE dropped into the subdivision to the north. At the Hastie Lake access point there were 5 HARLEQUIN DUCKs and a COMMON LOON (still in breeding plumage). At Libby Beach we had more HARLEQUIN DUCKs, HORNED GREBEs, COMMON LOON and SURF SCOTER.
Kennedy Lagoon had a female COMMON MERGANSER, and around toward Coupeville we saw COMMON LOON, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, SURF and WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, HORNED and WESTERN GREBE, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, and a surprise LONG-TAILED DUCK. At we went thru Coupeville we came into the clear with nice bright sunshine - - oops, it didn't last long. The fog came back densely the closer we got to Fort Casey. At the ferry landing we had HORNED GREBE and PIGEON GUILLEMOT. A RED-TAILED HAWK was perched at the west end of Crockett Lake and another at the east end of the lake. One of the group saw a NORTHERN HARRIER near the lake.
Deer Lagoon was completely fogged in, but we did see GREEN-WINGED TEAL, MALLARD. The Ewing Road ponds were full with MALLARD, NORTHERN SHOVELER, RING-NECKED DUCK, GADWALL, a single late CINNAMON TEAL, and PIED-BILLED GREBE.
Elsewhere along the way, in spite of the fog we saw - PELAGIC CORMORANT, BALD EAGLE, ROCK PIGEON, MOURNING DOVE, (EURSIAN COLLARED-DOVE - probable), NORTHERN FLICKER, AMERICAN CROW, COMMON RAVEN, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, AMERICAN ROBIN.
In spite of the fog most of the day we had a good time, saw lots of nice birds and enjoyed each others company. We wound up the day with 57 species. If we had experienced the usual clear weather, we would likely have added more waterbirds and some passerines, but all in all it was a very good day!
Brian H. Bell
mail to bell asoc at iso media dot com
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