[Tweeters] Seattle Audubon 7 Oct 2015 trip to Whidbey Island
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Wed Oct 7 20:22:15 PDT 2015
Seattle Audubon took a trip to Whidbey Island today in spite of the forecast
for rain all day. We started out at 54F and raining, and that was the
pattern for the rest of the day. Birding was slow on the ferry ride today
with a CALIFORNIA GULL and a RHINOCEROS AUKLET early and basically nothing
else til we were near Clinton. At that point we saw many BONAPARTE'S GULLs
flying south along the shore. A few DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTs were at the
terminal and lots of SURF SCOTERs. We made a quick stop at Clinton Beach
Park and scanned the ducks. About 75 SURF SCOTERs, a BELTED KINGFISHER, some
ROCK PIGEONs on the terminal structures.
Our next stop was at Deer Lake where the light rain continued and there were
50 or so CANADA GEESE on shore, a single DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT in the
lake. Scanning across the lake we found four HOODED MERGANSERs and a
PIED-BILLED GREBE. A BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE sounded off over our heads and a
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH was heard.
We next went to Rollinghills Rd. and stopped to look for small birds. Both
BLACK-CAPPED and CHESTNUT-BACK CHICKADEEs were in the trees overhead, a
couple of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETs joined them. Two ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDs chased
each other (it was still raining, but the temperature had climbed to 55F). A
BEWICK'S WREN ducked into a tree and then dropped down into the bushes, a
DARK-EYED JUNCO made a quick stop. Some BUSHTITs sounded off, but kept
themselves concealed. Two NORTHERN FLICKERs were in the top of a tree.
Our next stop was the Maxwellton area, as we came into it we saw MALLARD and
GREEN-WINGED TEAL in the canal, a RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD on the wires and lots
of EUROPEAN STARLINGs. At Dave Mackie County Park the south end of Useless
Bay was covered with birds. Over the next half hour we managed to see 60-70
COMMON MURREs, several PIGEON GUILLEMOTs, COMMON LOON, a bunch of PACIFIC
LOONs, SURF SCOTERs, a single WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, many HORNED GREBEs, a
couple of RED-NECKED GREBEs and two WESTERN GREBEs and a RED-BREASTED
MERGANSER, HEERMANN'S GULLs, some GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLs and lots of
Glaucous-winged hybrids, and even more unidentified gulls that were too far
away to make out thru the rain. A large group of AMERICAN WIGEON were on the
mud next to the shore. An ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD was at one of the feeders at
the houses across the street.
We stopped at the Maxwellton Outdoor Classroom and eventually saw two
PACIFIC WRENs, and heard CEDAR WAXWINGs overhead. On to the Ewing Rd.
wetlands that at first glance looked very dry. It turned out that there was
more water and we saw MALLARDs, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN PINTAIL,
At Deer Lagoon off Sunlight Beach the tide was way out, but we could find
MEW GULL, RING-BILLED GULL, CALIFORNIA GULL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, GREATER
YELLOWLEGS, BELTED KINGFISHER, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, EUROPEAN STARLING. On
the drive in and out we saw BLACK-CAPPED and CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEEs,
HOUSE FINCH, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. At the Useless Bay side we saw COMMON LOON,
GREAT BLUE HERON (19), SURF SCOTER, BALD EAGLE (one with a flounder like
fish), BELTED KINGFISHER, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. There were also at least
12 Harbor Porpoise out in the Bay.
A stop at Bush Point yielded more COMMON, PACIFIC and three RED-THROATED
LOONs, RED-NECKED GREBEs, HORNED GREBEs, BONAPARTE'S GULLs.
At Crockett Lake there were two RED-TAILED HAWKs, a male NORTHERN HARRIER,
SAVANNAH SPARROW, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (very distant) and some "peeps"
(couldn't identify because of the rain, mist and distance). Lots of
GREEN-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN PINTAIL, a few NORTHERN SHOVELER. At the ferry
terminal the old platform held DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, a few PELAGIC
COMORANTs and a single BRANDT'S CORMORANT and two BREWER'S BLACKBIRDs were
in the parking lot. An immature Accipiter was by the restaurant, but was not
identified to species (probably Cooper's).
We scanned the Penn Cove mussel platforms and found a BLACK TURNSTONE, and
then on another platform there were six BLACK TURNSTONEs, and the another
six, and another 10. We finally saw at least 60 BLACK TURNSTONEs on the one
platform. Lots of gulls on the platforms, mostly hybrids. The temperature
was now near tropical at 57F, but the rain continued (it was light and not a
bother). At the western end of Penn Cove there were probably 400 SURF
SCOTERs, many distant but 40 close. A couple more COMMON LOONs. A CASPIAN
TERN was with some gulls.
Out to Libby Beach at the end of Libby Rd. and we found a bunch of HARLEQUIN
DUCKs (males and females), more COMMON and PACIFIC LOONs, RED-NECKED GREBEs,
HORNED GREBEs and three very, very distant BLACK OYSTERCATCHER. Two BALD
EAGLEs were nearby. As we left a SPOTTED TOWHEE flew across the road.
At Hastie Lake Rd. access there were still more HARLEQUIN DUCKs, a couple of
COMMON LOONs, some SURF SCOTERs.
At the Swantown overlook there were a couple of COMMON LOONs, a RED-THROATED
LOON, and on Bos Lake there were many NORTHERN PINTAIL, a couple of NORTHERN
SHOVELER, MALLARDs, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, many RUDDY DUCKs, a NORTHERN SHRIKE,
and few DUNLIN.
The Dugualla Bay lake had BELTED KINGFISHER, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GADWALL,
HOODED MERGANSER, AMERICAN WIGEON, RIND-NECKED DUCK, a single female
BUFFLEHEAD, and two WILSON'S SNIPE.
At the Hayton Farms fields (we checked on the progress of the new dike) we
saw 5 EURASIAN-COLLARED DOVEs.
Other birds seen many times included KILLDEER, AMERICAN CROW (many),
AMERICAN ROBIN, EUROPEAN STARLING (at most locations), WHITE-CROWNED and
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWs, and HOUSE SPARROW.
It was a good day even with the rain (72 species for the day), it was nice
to see so many species returning for the fall and winter, great companions.
Brian H. Bell
mail to bell asoc at iso me dia dot com
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