[Tweeters] Lake Terrell, Birch Bay, Semiahmoo, Blaine, Samish

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Sat Jan 10 22:14:01 PST 2015

On a very overcast chilly day, 8 very enthusiastic birders joined me on a SAS field trip to points north. We managed to avoid the rain before, between some stops and on the way home, plus no wind and glassy calm water made for an enjoyable day.

Lake Terrell provided the usual assortment of wintering ducks, including American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser (the only ducks which seemed disturbed by the hunters), and Ruddy Duck. A noisy flock of Trumpeter Swans flew overhead. In the woods, we were entertained by singing Varied Thrush and Brown Creeper while flocks of Pine Siskin and Cedar Waxwing flew overhead.

At Birch Bay SP, a long line of Brant provided a backdrop to a nice, close collection of all three scoters, life birds for many in the group. There were a scattering of Long-tailed Ducks, a single Eared Grebe, and Red-throated and Pacific Loon were close enough to allow ID pointers. The Long-tailed Ducks and Black Scoters were singing for us as well (well, maybe not for us, but we still enjoyed).

More of the same birds were observable at Semiahmoo Spit and the marina. Off shore, a large flock of Pacific Loon were doing synchronized diving: 30-40 birds submerging almost simultaneously. Here, on the bay side, we also saw a flock of Barrow’s Goldeneye and Lesser Scaup. Shorebirds included a Black Turnstone, Black Oystercatcher and a handful of Sanderling. At the resort, Red-necked and Western Grebe showed up as well. As usual, the boardwalk provided an opportunity for very close looks at a few birds, to the delight of our group. At the Blaine Marina, we saw another Black Turnstone, then two, then three, then 30 of them blasted off the rocks for a nice Whatcom finale.

We still had some daylight remaining so made a dash down to the West 90. Passing through Edison on the way, we saw two Peregrine Falcon, one on either side of town, and a Merlin in town. Then, at the wildlife area, we were treated to the expected show: more than a dozen Short-eared Owls, a couple of Rough-legged Hawks, too may Northern Harriers to count, and a Northern Shrike that kept coming back to a perch not 30 feet from our vantage point. Surprises were a Savannah and a Lincoln’s Sparrow in the grasses.

For the day, we had 86 species. The birds and great company made a gray day a great day.
Scott Ramos

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