[Tweeters] Blaine to Wiley Slough: Gonewits and distant terns

Ed Newbold ednewbold1 at yahoo.com
Fri May 15 00:49:54 PDT 2015

Hi all,
Brian Pendleton and I headed up to Blaine today (Thursday) to chase the Hudsonian Godwit which was a gonewit by the time we finally arrived at 9:30.
We did find one Marbled Godwit at Blaine, plus at least 30 Whimbrels, many Caspian Terns, and what seemed really unexpectedly good news were foraging Common Terns and a resting flock of maybe 200 Common Terns on the marina walkway at Semiahmoo closest to Blaine, visible at the end of scope range from the Blaine side. 
At West 90 the little beaver pond was chock full of Rails with Soras singing without any prompting and Virginia Rails chuckling.
Padilla Bay interpretive center had House Wrens, singing Hutton's Vireos, Olive-sided Flycatchers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Western Tanager and Pacific-slope Flycatcher and others.
Rosario Beach had Black Oystercatchers, 4 species of Swallows, a River Otter and a pair of Harlequins.
Wiley Slough had a Kestrel, hooray, many handsome Blue-winged Teal wishing to be photographed but it was getting dark, and our first Swainson's Thrush, Western Wood-pewee and Cedar Waxwings of the season.  Long-billed Dowitchers there were tame as were the Greater Yellowlegs.
We wondered why we heard or saw no Common Yellowthroats at Wiley.  Are they having trouble, do they go to bed early, or do they not like brackish water?  There seemed to be acres of great Yellowthroat habitat.  We also did not hear any Warbling Vireos all day, what's with them this year? and had no Vaux's Swifts all day.  
On the other hand, I've never seen so many Tree Swallows as at Wiley this year, it's always a joy to be inundated with Hirundines.  I'm wondering if this could be a peak year for them there as the old Alder forest is completely dead but mostly still standing.  I was amazed at how quickly the dead trees disintegrated and fell at Spenser Island when the dike was breached there, so I suppose these skeletons won't last long.
One frustrating highlight of the trip were a group of birds, possibly including recently fledged birds high in the trees exactly above the point where the driveway to Rosario Beach meets the main highway to Rosario Beach.  This is a cliff clothed in oldgrowth.  The birds were extremely high up and could not be seen but were making an incredible racket.  Brian wouldn't call them but I remain certain, for what that's worth, that they were Western Kingbirds. 

Here's our list in order seen:
1. American Crow2.Chestnut-backed Chickadee (rest stop on I-5)3. Red-tailed Hawk4. Bald Eagle5. Rock Pigeon6. Eurasan Collared Dove7. Eurasian Starling8. Glaucous-winged Gull9. Wilson's Warbler10. American Robin11.Raven12. Steller's Jay13. Mallard14. White-crowned Sparrow15. Orange-crowned Warbler16. Band-tailed Pigeon17. Red-winged Blackbird18. Brewer's Blackbird          these were on I-5 going North19. Barn Swallow20. Violet-green Swallow,21. American Goldfinch22. Surf Scoter23. White-winged Scoter24. Northern Harrier25. Dunlin26 Least Sandpiper27. Brown-headed Cowbird28. Canada Geese,29.  Greater Scaup30. Short-billed Dowitcher31. Black-bellied Plover32. Caspian Tern33. Common Tern34. Savannah Sparrow35. Ring-billed Gull36. Great Blue Heron37. Killdeer38. Whimbrel39. Common Yellowthroat40. Anna's Hummingbird41. Northern Shoveler42. Double-crested Cormorant43. Common Loon44. Brant45. Red-necked Grebe46. House Finch47. House Sparrow48. Rough-winged Swallow49  Pelagic Cormorant50. Horned Grebe51. Osprey52. Marbled Godwit53. Rufous Hummingbird    they seemed to be in good numbers all day54. Common Goldeneye         end Blaine
55. Golden-crowned Kinglet   begin Padilla interpretive Center56. Dark-eyed Junco57. Black-headed Grosbeak58. Brown Creeper59. Black-throated Gray Warbler60. Pine Siskin61 Pacific-slope Flycatcher62. Olive-sided Flycatcher63 Hutton's Vireo64 House Wren65.  Barred Owl66. Purple Finch67. Golden-crowned Sparrow68 Western Tanager69.Northern Flicker      70 Turkey Vulture   71. Song Sparrow72. Spotted Towhee 73. Red-breasted Nuthatch             end Padilla.74  Marsh Wren75 Bullock's Oriole    Samish River76. Tree Swallow 77 Cliff Swallow78. Sora                      West 9079 Virgina Rail80 Mourning Dove 81. Gadwall82. Cedar Waxwing
83. Black Oystercatcher   Rosario84. Harlequin Ducks85. Belted Kingfisher86. Bewick's Wren87. Pacific Wren88. Pileated Woodpecker89. Pigeon Guillemot90. Bushtit
91. American Kestrel                             at Wiley Slough92. Blue-winged Teal93. Cinnamon Teal94. Yellow Warbler    almost as many of these as Cowbirds95. Swainson's Thrush  one sang, others called96. Yellow-rumped Warbler97  Western Wood-pewee98. Wood Duck99. Ring-necked Duck100. Long-billed Dowitcher101. Greater Yellowlegs102 Peregrine Falcon103 Bank Swallow104 Green-winged Teal105. Downy Woodpecker    106. Pied Billed Grebe

(107)  Western Kingbird at driveway turnoff to Rosario

Thanks all,
Ed Newbold ednewbold1 at yahoo.com   residential Beacon Hll Seattle WA


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