[Tweeters] Edmonds Roundup

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Thu Sep 24 11:22:14 PDT 2015

From late August on, four new species have been added to the Edmonds checklist as code 5 birds: Brown Booby, Prairie Falcon, Broad-winged Hawk, and Willet. A code 5 repeat visitor was a Solitary Sandpiper in the marsh on September 7-8. There have been several sightings of Black Turnstones (code 4) along the waterfront, mostly on the marina breakwaters. Parasitic Jaegers arrived early this year with the first sightings on August 24th. There have been many subsequent sightings. There was an irruption of 30 Common Terns (code 3) in the Underwater Park north of the ferry dock on September 16th. Several of us watched closely for about an hour but could not detect a Forster’s among them. Both Parasitic Jaegers and Common Terns are being seen regularly right now, in an abundance that has been unmatched for several years. In spite of the coastal wrecks of dead Common Murres, we have seen large numbers, sometimes 500 or more, in the distant offshore waters on multiple days this month. Between August 26 and September 11, we watched flocks of Red-necked Phalaropes (code 3) moving through the offshore waters. Western Grebes (code 2) can be seen now in the offshore waters, requiring at least binoculars. I have not yet seen any close enough to shore for eyeball viewing.

There have been several sightings of Black Scoters (code 2) in flight this month. Yesterday I watched five drakes on the water just north of the Underwater Park, seen from Sunset Avenue with a scope. They were still there this morning. This is the area in which a small flock usually can be found in fall and winter. There have been several sightings of White-winged Scoters (code 2). These are usually fly-bys but I watched two on the water this morning near the public pier before three others flew by at Sunset Avenue. The Surf Scoter flock is starting to build. There were 32 on the water today, just north of the ferry dock. American Wigeons (code 1) and Green-winged Teals (code 1) are back at the marsh. The wigeons have been on the waterfront, too, usually up near Shell Creek where the gulls rest. There have been no reports yet of Red-breasted Mergansers or either goldeneye. There are still lots of Heermann’s Gulls around. The Glaucous-winged Gulls and their hybrids are back in large numbers as the California Gull numbers are tapering off. There have been a few Mew Gull sightings and those numbers should be increasing soon. A week ago a Western Gull (code 4), not a hybrid, was seen from the pier by reliable reporters. Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants are returning, as are the Red-necked and Horned Grebes.

A large flock of Steller’s Jays is foraging in the vicinity of the marsh. Two days ago a birder noted three Western Scrub-Jays (code 4) among them as they were feeding on acorns in some smaller oak trees in Harbor Square, the business center that was developed on top of the northernmost part of the marsh in the early 1980s. If you are visiting the marsh, it can be worthwhile to walk around the business park to see what is in the ornamental plantings. Shorebird sightings in the marsh are tapering off. The last several days have produced one Least Sandpiper at a time. A number of Savannah Sparrows are still moving through. I have been watching them around the marsh. Two even flew in and perched on the public pier railing the other morning while I was scoping for seabirds.

The 2015 collective year list is at 169 species.

Carol Riddell

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