Date: 11/2/18 10:40 am From: B P Bell <bellasoc...> Subject: [Tweeters] 31 October Whidbey Island trip
On Wednesday, 31 October 2018, Eastside Audubon took a field trip to Whidbey Island. The day started out really, really dark and overcast so we took the ferry over to Clinton and then killed some time at Clinton Beach until it got light enough to see. The temperature was moderate at 51F, and the overcast was heavy enough to make birding difficult. Not helping was the slight swell and chop so distance observing was cut down.
At Clinton Beach we saw GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, CALIFORNIA GULL, GREAT BLUE HERON, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (quick flyby), WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, DOUBLE-CRESTED and PELAGIC CORMORANTs and BELTED KINGFISHER. Not too bad for less than ideal conditions - midway thru looking we were hit with a heavy shower.
Over to Deer Lake with only a few BUFFLEHEAD on the lake, but the surrounding vegetation yielded RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, BEWICK'S WREN, PACIFIC WREN, EUROPEAN STARLING, NORTHERN FLICKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, AMERICAN ROBIN, SPOTTED TOWHEE, AMERICAN CROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO and a couple of fly-over COMMON MERGANSERs. By now the rain had stopped and it was slightly lighter.
Rollinghill Road was relatively slow, but we managed to find NORTHERN FLICKER, AMERICAN ROBIN, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEEs (a bunch in one tree), AMERICAN CROW, SONG SPARROW, COMMON RAVEN (called), SPOTTED TOWHEE, and FOX SPARROW.
At Maxwellton we saw COMMON MERGANSER on the bay, and EUROPEAN STARLING and BREWER'S BLACKBIRDs on the electric lines. At Dave Mackie Park it was a bit lighter, but the wind had picked up so it was cold, and the chop was still limiting the view. We did find HORNED GREBE, WHITE-WINGED SCOTER, SURF SCOTER, AMERICAN WIGEON, PACIFIC LOON, RED-NECKED GREBE, AMERICAN CROW, KILLDEER, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL.
They were setting up for a school group at the Outdoor Classroom area so we bypassed it and went to Ewing Road. With the rains the wetlands are now flooded and we saw MALLARD, GADWALL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, AMERICAN WIGEON, NORTHERN PINTAIL, a bunch of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDs on a distant fence line, AMERICAN CROW, GREATBLUE HERON. The overcast was still moderate and the wind was present.
We went down to Sunlight Beach Road and the eastern extension of Deer Lagoon (tide was in and high), and saw MALLARD, WHITE PELICAN (just one), HEEERMANN'S GULL, RING-BILLED GULL, HOODED MERGANSER, GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREAT BLUE HERON, HOUSE FINCH, EUROPEAN STARLING, HOUSE SPARROW, and CANADA GOOSE. We walked down the public access lane to view Useless Bay and saw two small groups of SURF SCOTERs and nothing else.
We next went to the main part of Deer Lagoon and it was loaded with ducks - MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL (lots), GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON (in total probably over 3500), RING-NECKED DUCK, BUFFLEHEAD, 24 SNOW GOOSE, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD, PIED-BILLED GREBE, DARK-EYED JUNCO, NORTHERN FLICKER, NORTHERN SHOVELER, GREATER SCAUP (1), MARSH WREN, DUNLIN, WHITE PELICAN (probably the one from earlier). In spite of continued scanning of the wigeon flocks we could not locate a Eurasian.
Lunch at Freeland Park and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, KINGFISHER, BUFFLHEAD, SURF SCOTER, COMMON LOON, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, HORNED GREBE, AMERICAN CROW and EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE.
Bush Point had COMMON LOON, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, BRANDT'S CORMORANT, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, PACIFIC LOON (several, but distant), RHINOCEROUS AUKLET, HORNED GREBE, and several BONAPARTE'S GULLs. On to Crockett Lake and only one GREAT BLUE HERON, and 2 GREEN-WINGED TEAL. Across the road at Keystone the old platform gave us a trifecta of DOUBLE-CRESTED, PELAGIC and BRANDT'S CORMORANTs, BONAPARTE'S GULL, ROCK PIGEON, GREAT BLUE HERON, HARLEQUIN DUCK, AMERICAN CROW, BALD EAGLE, COMMON LOON and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL. Up on the hill at Fort Casey a walk thru the forest let us see RUBYCROWNED KINGLET, CHESNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET.
Because of the early delay we were now in mid-afternoon and decided to head for home and off the southern end of the island. In spite of the less than optimal conditions we had a good day with fine folks and wound up with 63 species.