[Tweeters] Whidbey Island; Long-tailed Duck and Northern Shrike

Scott Ramos lsr at ramoslink.info
Sat Oct 24 20:47:57 PDT 2015

It was foggy to start, in places. It was a little chilly at times. We had a little rain but very little wind. And the 11 folks from the Seattle Audubon field trip to Whidbey Island were treated to a great assortment of winter birds. We made a north-to-south traverse of the island, including stops at Rosario Beach, Deception Pass SP, Dugualla Bay, Oak Harbor marina, Swantown/Bos Lake, Hastie Lake Rd beach access, Crockett Lake, Keystone Ferry landing, Deer Lagoon and Dave Mackie county park. Highlights were many.

Canvasback - 2 at Bos Lake
White-winged Scoter - a couple at Rosario Beach and at Swantown
LONG-TAILED DUCK - we really did not expect these yet and almost didn’t stop there, but found two birds at Hastie Lake Rd beach access
Pacific Loon - about 10 at Dave Mackie park; a little disappointing since we saw nearly 200 the week before during our scout trip at the same park, but a couple were still in breeding plumage so the views were worthwhile
Black-bellied Plover - a dozen at Bos Lake, several dozen at Deer Lagoon; we also had distant views of both Western and Least Sandpiper
Black Turnstone - well over 200 at the Oak Harbor Marina; we had maybe 50 in view when we started but then large waves of birds kept arriving
Surfbird - maybe 50, with the BLTU
Dunlin - 150 at Bos Lake
Wilson’s Snipe - 3 flew out from below our viewpoint at the lake across from Dugualla Bay, and a couple landed for good views in the shore shrubbery
Thayer’s Gull - one flew into range at Hastie Lake Rd access just after we had seen the LTDU then continued on only to turn back and show us good field marks
Peregrine Falcon - good view of a perched bird at Crockett Lake; an altercation with a Bald Eagle had little result except for repositioning
NORTHERN SHRIKE - a couple of juvenile birds provided great looks at Deer Lagoon
American Pipit - a couple of calling birds at the Keystone Ferry landing
Western Meadowlark - several provided brief glimpses in the grasses surrounding Bos Lake
Red Crossbill - several above the parking area at Rosario Beach
Evening Grosbeak - a calling bird was eventually seen at the entrance to Fort Casey
On the ferry ride home, a Rhinoceros Auklet provided the last fine view of the day.
The mammal highlight was at the lake at Dugualla Bay, where a family group of River Otter provided entertainment.

For the day, 96 species; several lifers for many in the group.
A very enjoyable trip with an enthusiastic group of birders.
Scott Ramos and Jen Kunitsugu

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