[Tweeters] Raft of Western Grebes on Saratoga Passage

Jonathan Bent bent.jonathan at gmail.com
Thu Sep 26 15:08:53 PDT 2013


Hi Tweeters,

I'm dog-sitting at the in-laws' house on the east side of Whidbey Island
about five miles north of Langley, and in between bouts of typing, I've had
some time to scope Saratoga Passage for birds. Over the past few weeks
we've had fairly large numbers of Bonaparte's Gulls--100+--but today's
Western Grebe numbers dwarfed these--just 10 minutes ago I counted 628!
Though I know WEGR often assemble en masse, this is easily the largest
number of them I've ever seen together. (I eagerly await responses from
lifelong birders about how these are piddlingly small numbers!)

Also on the passage today: 1 Red-necked Grebe, 2 White Winged Scoters, 7
Horned Grebes, assorted gulls, 5 Common Loons.

It seems like a day of plenty... as I sit here typing I'm overwhelmed by
20+ Red-breasted Nuthatches moving through the property, engaging in some
of their more complex vocalizations as they chase each other from trunk to
trunk. Also, 10 or so Red Crossbills.

What a beautiful day...

Jonathan Bent
Bitter Lake and Whidbey Island
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