[Tweeters] Edmonds Roundup - January 2021

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Tue Feb 9 10:14:54 PST 2021

Hi Tweets,

There were 104 species that we put on our 2021 Edmonds collective year list in January.

Most waterfowl were reported with the exception of Long-tailed Duck (code 3), which has become more difficult to spot here. All of the expected grebes were reported, including an Eared Grebe (code 4) in the middle of the month, which many birders got to see. While a Virginia Rail (code 2) was reported late in the month at the Edmonds marsh, there was no American Coot (code 2) sighting. The expected shorebirds have been seen: Killdeer (code 1), Black Turnstone (code 4) (probably becoming a code 3), Sanderling (code 2), Dunlin (code 2), and Wilson’s Snipe (code 3). For the alcids, there are good reports of Common Murre (code 2), Pigeon Guillemot (code 1), Marbled Murrelet (code 2), and Rhinoceros Auklet (code 1). Other than Pigeon Guillemot, overall alcid numbers seem quite low. All three cormorants and all three loons have been reported.

The expected raptors for this time of year were all reported: Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Bald Eagle, and Red-tailed Hawk. There were no owl reports until the last third of the month when a Great Horned Owl (code 4) was recorded hooting in the Seaview neighborhood and a Barred Owl (code 2) was photographed in Pine Ridge Park. The only falcon for January was Merlin (code 2) in the Edmonds Lake Ballinger neighborhood, at the marsh, and in three of the larger forested parks. Common Raven is one of the more difficult code 3 species in Edmonds. One was photographed in Pine Ridge Park on January 23rd. There have been periodic reports of this species in or near Pine Ridge in recent years. There have been many Varied Thrush (code 2) sightings but only one Hermit Thrush (code 2) from the Perrinville neighborhood early in the month.

There have been the expected sightings of Yellow-rumped Warbler (code 1) and Townsend’s Warbler (code 2), but an Orange-crowned Warbler (code 1) seen along the waterfront by a number of birders may be hoped for but is not expected in winter in Edmonds.

Some misses for January include Long-tailed Duck, Western Meadowlark, and White-throated Sparrow, all code 3 species.

It is interesting that there were so many eBird reports of Sanderlings. I made a species map in eBird to see how many January reports there have been over the previous ten years. This year had a high of 30 reports. Here are the previous years: (2020) 2; (2019) 1; (2018) 1; (2017) 1; (2016) 29; (2015) 9; (2014) 2; (2013) 6; (2012) 4; (2011) 1. If past predicts the future, it may be a more difficult species to see in Edmonds next January.

We take a conservative approach to unusual sightings in eBird to make sure that our collective list reflects birds actually seen or heard. eBird is one of several sources we rely on to develop our year lists. It goes without saying that our decisions do not impact eBird records in any way. January birds reported in eBird that we have not added to our collective year list include:

Northern Pintail (code 3) - Almost 30 were reported in flight along the waterfront with no details of field marks and no photo. It would be an unusual sighting at this time of year, warranting further information.

Greater Scaup (code 2) - Reported on Goodhope Pond in Pine Ridge Park, an unusual location for even a Lesser Scaup, with no details of field marks and no photo. Described as a poor view.

Ruddy Duck (code 3) - One reported on the waterfront with no details of field marks and no photo. An exposed waterfront, such as that of Edmonds, is a highly unusual location for this species and should have details. This species winters mostly in brackish water in shallow bays and inlets, on freshwater ponds/lakes, and on sewage treatment ponds. The most reliable location in Snohomish County for large numbers of this duck is the Everett sewage treatment lagoon. Edmonds sightings have been in the marsh or on the Edmonds portion of Lake Ballinger.

Surfbird (code 4) - One report on the waterfront with no details of field marks and no photo.

Least Sandpiper (code 1) - One reported on the waterfront and not expected in Edmonds at this time of year. No details of field marks and no photo.

Ring-billed Gull (code 3) - This is a very difficult code 3 species to find in Edmonds, undoubtedly because of the exposed nature of the waterfront. It is easily confused with Mew Gulls in winter and California Gulls in summer. When seen, it is usually a single bird. There were many January reports of 4-6 birds, none with details of field marks or photos. If you are looking for this species near Edmonds, try Lake Ballinger. If you are looking for it for Snohomish County, Everett’s 10th St. boat ramp parking lot usually hosts 5-10. If you want to see hundreds, in winter check the farm fields along Norman Road between Silvana and Stanwood.

Herring Gull (code 4) - A pure Herring Gull is challenging to find in Snohomish County and is not seen every year on the Edmonds waterfront. With no details and no photo, we have not added it to our list.

As always, I appreciate it when birders get in touch with me to share sightings, photos, or audio. It helps us build our collective year list. If you would like a copy of our 2020 city checklist, please request it at checklistedmonds at gmail.com <mailto:checklistedmonds at gmail.com>. I will get a 2021 checklist posted in the bird information box at the Visitor Station at the base of the public pier within the week.

Good birding,

Carol Riddell
Edmonds, WA
cariddellwa at gmail dot com

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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