[Tweeters] Edmonds Roundup - July-August 2019

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Thu Sep 5 19:33:40 PDT 2019


Hi Tweets,

Shorebird migration at the Edmonds marsh and along the waterfront has been one of the thinnest in memory. With so little to report, I decided to combine two months of sightings.

A Mourning Dove (code 3) finally showed up at the marsh on July 4th and made a second appearance on July 19th. We saw one along the waterfront on August 14th and wondered whether it was the same bird hanging around the city. One Mourning Dove sighting a year is usually pretty good for Edmonds.

A Wilson’s Phalarope (code 4) was at the marsh briefly on July 7th. Two Long-billed Dowitchers (code 3) arrived along with two more Greater Yellowlegs (code 3) on July 12th. A Turkey Vulture (code 3) was seen along Edmonds Way on July 14th, the second sighting in the city this year. That may be as good as it gets. One of the Parks Department beach rangers reported seeing two Semipalmated Plovers (code 3) at Marina Beach on July 19th. Lesser Yellowlegs is a code 4 species for Edmonds, yet we have had multiple sightings this summer. The first was on July 28th.

A Semipalmated Sandpiper (code 3) arrived on the Brackett’s Landing beach, just north of the jetty, along with a small flock of Western Sandpipers, on August 1st. There has been at least one sighting in the marsh. A Cassin’s Auklet (code 4) was off the public pier on August 5th. It offered great scope views under good viewing conditions but was too distant for a photo. There was one Pectoral Sandpiper (code 3) in the marsh, briefly, on August 27th.

We have had some obvious misses so far this year, including Yellow-headed Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Baird’s Sandpiper, and Cliff Swallow. In general, this was a poor year for swallows in Edmonds. That said, at least one brood hatched from a pair of Tree Swallows and another from a pair of Violet-green Swallows. It looked like the small Purple Martin colony on the Olympic Beach pilings produced a number of young. There has been little swallow activity lately except for migrating Barn Swallows foraging at the boat entrance to the marina, best seen from the public pier.

I haven’t seen any loons yet and still have not been able to find a Ring-billed Gull for our year list. Yes, there have been many reports of that species in eBird, including one incredible report of nine birds. Ring-billed Gull is on eBird’s basic checklists for Snohomish County because it is common in other parts of the county. It is rarely in Edmonds and those of us who bird here regularly have never seen more than one at a time. We do not add undocumented reports of this gull to our year list because of the number of apparent misidentifications of subadult California Gulls. They do, of course, remain in eBird public data unless questioned by an eBird reviewer. If you are an eBirder, you can help us build our year lists by either including a photo of the Ring-billed Gull or a good description of multiple field marks. And that is helpful to us for any bird that is a code 3 or rarer in Edmonds.

The waterfront is beginning to look a little bit like fall. A few Mew Gulls are back and there has been a large gathering of Bonaparte’s Gulls the past few days. Western, Red-necked, and Horned Grebes are returning. So are Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants. A few Surf Scoters are being seen, and there was a flock of twelve Common Mergansers near the Shell Creek beach the other day. A male Harlequin Duck in basic plumage has been hanging around for the last few days. I’ll note it again in the next roundup, but about two dozen American White Pelicans flew over Edmonds today, heading west, probably to Deer Lagoon on Whidbey Island.

We finished August at 163 species for the year. Species on our collective list are noted in the bird information display box at the Olympic Beach Visitor Station at the base of the public pier. If you would like an electronic copy of the current Edmonds checklist, please request it at checklistedmonds at gmail.com <mailto:checklistedmonds at gmail.com>.

Carol Riddell
Edmonds, WA

Abundance codes: (1) Common, (2) Uncommon, (3) Harder to find, usually seen annually, (4) Rare, 5+ records, (5) Fewer than 5 records
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