[Tweeters] Jetty Island

Byers byers345 at comcast.net
Fri Aug 17 21:42:12 PDT 2018

Hi Tweeters,

I had never been to Jetty Island, just offshore from
Everett, before. Bill and I went today because other birders had report
significant numbers of shorebirds there. There's a small foot passenger
ferry that runs from the mainland out to the island between July 5 and Labor
Day. It's a short ride, but it's a popular destination for families and
children, so I would avoid weekends and arrive early. Although many people
are going to the island, 99% appear to be there for the beach on the south
and west side. There is also a volleyball camp.

Once on the island you can walk up to the lagoon on the
northern end of the island-probably best on incoming tide. Today when we
arrived at the lagoon we quickly realized that the mudflats were covered in
shorebirds. We were almost the only people there. These birds were mostly
juvenile Western Sandpipers-I estimated 750, but there might have been more,
and significant numbers of Least Sandpipers and Black-bellied Plovers.
There were also some Semipalmated Plovers, dowitchers, and yellowlegs and
Killdeer. Yesterday a Baird's Sandpiper was seen there and today I'm pretty
sure I found a Semipalmated Sandpiper. These birds kept a fair distance
from us, so photography wasn't great, but possible for identification.

We then walked to the south end of the island where, away
from the people, there was a big gathering of Caspian Terns (150 or so) and
at least that many Black-bellied Plovers, many still in partial breeding
plumage. They all looked like they were getting ready to fly south. But in
looking at Ebird records for the Black-bellied Plovers, there are none this
year for anywhere south of Everett, even though there have been significant
numbers observed at Jetty Island all month. Where do these birds go when
they head south?

While we waited for the ferry to take us back across the
channel, we noted flock after flock of small shorebirds flying over the
water. Once on the mainland, we stopped at North View Park and did see the
Great Egret north of the park that has been there for a while. The whole
area was very birdy today!

Charlotte Byers, Edmonds

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