[Tweeters] Port Angeles/Sequim Breeding Bird Survey

B Boekelheide bboek at olympus.net
Thu Jun 18 13:52:52 PDT 2015


Hello, Tweeters,

On Sunday, June 14, I did the Port Angeles Breeding Bird Survey, assisted by Terry Martin. The route starts in east Port Angeles a half hour before sunrise and finishes east of Sequim in the Olympic foothills, recording birds for 3 minutes at each of 50 stops. The route mostly covers the lowlands between Port Angeles and Sequim, snaking through chopped-up forests, fields, and residential areas of the north Olympic Peninsula.

In total, we recorded 1159 individuals of 76 species, about average number of individuals and a record number of species for this route. As is typical, American Robin was most abundant and most ubiquitous, with 111 individuals recorded at 37 stops. Following robins, in decreasing order of abundance were Violet-green Swallow (72), crow (71), Am. Goldfinch (67), House Finch (57), Savannah Sparrow and Eur. Starling (47 each), Eur. Collared-Dove (46), White-crowned Sparrow (39), Red-winged Blackbird (38), and Brewer’s Blackbird (33). Following robins, the most widespread species (based on number of stops each species was recorded) were Eur. Collared-Dove (28 stops), Am. Goldfinch (26 stops), crow, Violet-green Swallow, and White-crowned Sparrow (25 stops each), Song Sparrow (22 stops), House Finch (21 stops), Savannah Sparrow (18 stops), Eur. Starling (15 stops), Barn Swallow (14 stops), and Black-headed Grosbeak (13 stops).

Eurasian Collared-Doves continue to amaze. We first recorded collared-doves on this BBS survey in 2009 with 4 birds, and it is now the 2nd most widespread and 8th most abundant species. Of interest, we recorded only one Mourning Dove this year, the smallest number since 1997. However, MODO has been an inconsistent species on the north Olympic Peninsula over the years, missed as often as seen on this BBS in the 1980s and 90s, and peaking in abundance in the last 10 years, just as collared-doves established themselves. Whether there is a connection or not, we don’t know.

Other species with high counts, whose populations seem to be doing particularly well in this area this year, include Anna’s Hummingbird, Warbling Vireo, House Wren, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Western Tanager. This route also clearly shows the decline and disappearance of Western Meadowlarks as a nesting species in the Sequim area. There were 15 to 30 meadowlarks recorded annually on this route in the 1970s and early 1980s, less than 10 meadowlarks recorded annually in the late 80s and early 90s, and not a single meadowlark recorded since 1997. Sad to see them go.

Bob Boekelheide
Dungeness



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