[Tweeters] Whidbey Island field trip

Neil and Carleen Zimmerman n3zims at comcast.net
Sun Sep 28 14:03:07 PDT 2014

Hello Tweeters,
I led a field trip to Whidbey Island for Seattle Audubon on Saturday the 27th.. It was sometimes very frustrating because of the fog. Many areas we could not see more that a 100 yards. We did see a White-throated Sparrow mixed in with some White-crowns in the picnic area at Rosario Head.
I reported on Tweeters large numbers of Black Oystercatchers on Thursday. We went to the West Beach at Deception Pass. When we got there, there were no oystercatchers to be seen. My participants started grumbling about wanting their money back. Well, the trip is free so I promised them double their money back if we didn't see any oystercatchers. As we were hanging around staring into the fog, a group of about 45 flew by. Then 3 birds landed on the rocks in front off us giving us some nice but foggy looks.We then headed over to Ala Spit. There, like a couple of days ago, were a least 70 oystercatchers hanging out on the beach. It was not foggy here, so we got really nice views of the birds.
The other real high light of the day was the Oak Bay Marina. Brian Bell told me about this place several years ago. Every year, Black Turnstones gather on the docks and log boom. Yesterday there were about 60-70 Turnstones hanging out on the docks. We could hear them as soon as we got out of our cars in the parking lot. I have seen well over a hundred here before. There were four Surfbirds mixed in with them. What made it special was they came over to a spot right in front of us and started feeding on the exposed pilings. The lighting was perfect as we watched the Turnstones and Surfbirds feeding not 30 feet from us.
Crockett Lake was very foggy, we did see some shorebirds but were not able to locate the Marbled Godwits that had been hanging around. But they easily could have been right in front of us. Over though the day was really good. We ended up with 75 species with several very memorable sightings.

Neil Zimmerman

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