Date: 7/30/17 5:33 pm From: Jeremy Schwartz <jschwartz1124...> Subject: [Tweeters] Pelicans and Yellowlegs and Terns, Oh My!- Deer Lagoon, Whidbey Is.
What a Sunday it was at Deer Lagoon! With much appreciated advice from some
fellow tweeters, I set off early Sunday morning to look for the American
white pelicans that have been hanging out around south Whidbey Island.
Skipping to the punchline here: I was not disappointed.
Arriving at about 7:30 a.m., I was greeted by a beautiful, temperate
morning. All was drenched in the subtle sunlight of the a.m.
I began a slow and measured march along the path toward the dike path
that's proven to provide the best viewing for others. Wispy clouds
meandered back and forth across the sun, but steady sunlight was my
companion throughout the morning.
I scanned through the trees and across the stands of grass as I walked.
Then, amongst the drab greens, browns and grays of the vegetation and
surrounding water: stark white. Dozens and dozens of hunched forms, draped
in white cloaks.
My pace quickened as I realized what I was seeing: I’d spotted the American
white pelicans. I’m joined by two other birders marveling at the sight. We
traded astonished phrases, commenting on their numbers (at least 100) and
The pelicans sat in four main groups, spread across the west side of the
dike path. The rising sun glinted off the water and their huge orange
bills, making their forms stand out even more amongst the greens and
browns. A few at a time would take off, soar for a spell, and land again.
For the most part, though, all +100 kept still in the growing sunshine of
I spent the next two hours or so exploring the dike trail, counting 25
other species scattered across the marshlands.
In addition to the pelicans, I added two other lifers in the form of six
black-bellied plovers and five greater yellowlegs. Joining them were dozens
of raucous Caspian terns, ring-billed gulls, least sandpipers and more barn
swallows than I've ever seen in my life.