[Tweeters] January 1st Birding

Joshua Glant josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Tue Jan 2 07:25:32 PST 2018

Hello Tweets,

Yesterday, Adam Crutcher and I spent the day racking up yearbirds in
Whatcom and Skagit counties. We began by owling around the Samish Flats and
Samish Island, and our first bird of 2018 was a Barn Owl hunting over West
90. Our owl tally for the day ended up at 2 Barn Owls and 3 Short-eared
Owls, because owling was surprisingly quiet on Samish Island, although it
was fantastic to have the International Space Station pass over us! When
the light appeared, we targeted and found rarities such as Blue Jay, Swamp
Sparrow, Black Phoebe and perhaps most excitingly for me, the peripatetic
Prairie Falcon (thanks to Steve Pink, Ann Marie Wood and Blair Bernson for
the real-time information!) as our 4th falcon species of the day. In
addition, we located a sizeable Common Redpoll flock on Sullivan Road in a
row of small alders.

We then headed north to get more seabirds and a California Scrub-Jay at
their regular location in Bellingham. It was fun to finally explore Whatcom
hotspots that I have heard much about but never visited, such as the Lummi
Flats. At the end of the day, Adam and I reached 97 species together, with
Adam gaining one quick flyby Western Meadowlark while driving as his 98th.
We had some great birds, but had some notable shortcomings in the songbird
department -- we didn't even have Brown Creeper of Red-breasted Nuthatch
for the day! Ah well, we didn't stop at much forest habitat, and those are
easily obtainable in the coming days. Overall, an amazing start to the year
with fantastic weather, quality birds and a good time had by all. Here's to
a 2018 as rosy pink as the sunrise in Bow!

Good birding, Joshua Glant
Mercer Island, WA

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