Date: 1/2/18 7:29 am From: Joshua Glant <josh.n.glant...> Subject: [Tweeters] January 1st Birding
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!