[Tweeters] O.T. ARF Wrapup

STEVEN ELLIS sremse at comcast.net
Sat Dec 8 06:40:01 PST 2018

My Amphibian, Reptile & Fish Big Year is necessarily over since the herps have gone to cover and the fish have mostly pulled into deep water. Here are the results:

Amphibians: 14

Reptiles: 10

Fish: 31 (None caught on hook and line but I did use a dip net)

55 was the final total- not great but not too bad for someone who works full time. Since there's no record of another ARF Big Year, I assume I hold the state, national, international and galactic records for now. I also added 206 birds and 34 mammals for a total of 295 vertebrates during this dress rehearsal for a Vertebrate Big Year (VBY) I hope to do in 2021.

Some thoughts

*There are 9.7 gazillion Shiner Perch in Western Washington in late summer. They are easily the most numerous native vertebrate in the area.

* Fish are delightfully difficult to identify. Peeps and flycatchers are quite easy compared to fish. You get funny looks from people when they see you using binoculars to stare into the water.

*Favorites: Any salamander ( 6 plus 1 newt); Tailed Frog; Tube Snout (fish)

*Biggest misses: Cascade Frog ( poor time management on my part plus smoke from wildfires kept me from going the one weekend I set aside for a visit to Mt. Rainier- not good for my asthma)

Western Fence Lizard-I wandered around a Mason County clearcut for a couple of hours and did see movement but couldn't say for sure I'd seen a lizard. I also missed the North Cascades Institute snake weekend due to vehicle trouble.

Any sucker species- I was amazed the Sate Fish & Wildlife people couldn't say where and when suckers spawn.

Thanks for everyone who contributed suggestions on where, when and how to see these delighful creatures! A list can be sent to anyone who requests it. I'll be back in a couple of years to beg & wheedle for info to help with my VBY(I'm also considering a Tree Big Year in the future).

Steve Ellis

sremse at comcast.net mailto:sremse at comcast.net

Coupeville, Wa (Whidbey island)
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