Date: 11/10/19 9:07 am From: B P Bell <bellasoc...> Subject: [Tweeters] Seattle Audubon to Whidbey 9 Nov 2019
Yesterday, Seattle Audubon took a trip to Whidbey Island. As we met, we hoped the rain would avoid Whidbey, and it seemed like it might. It was overcast and about 48F when we arrived at the Mukilteo ferry terminal, and saw a number of birds while waiting for the ferry - GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, ROCK PIGEON, AMERICAN CROW, EUROPEAN STARLING, SURF SCOTER, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, WESTERN GREBE, MARBLED MURRELET, GREAT BLUE HERON, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, RHINOCEROUS AUKLET, BELTED KINGFISHER, KILLDEER and a possible COOPER'S HAWK. We may have had a group of Common Goldenye but just then the ferry arrived and it started raining, and that was the theme for the rest of the day.
At Clinton we saw SURF SCOTER, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, BRANDT'S CORMORANT, and from Clinton Beach Park we added BONAPARTE'S GULL, GLACOUS-WINGED GULL, PELAGIC CORMORANT (sitting next to a Double-crested so nice size comparison), BELTED KINGFISHER, ROCK PIGEON, COMMON LOON, BALD EAGLE, HORNED GREBE and RED-NECKED GREBE - all while hiding under cover from the rain.
Deer Lake seemed quiet to start, but we did see HOODED MERGANSER, CANADA GOOSE, BUFFLEHEAD, PIED-BILLED GREBE, MALLARD, RING-NECKED DUCK and AMERICAN CROW. Down the road to Rollinghill Road where we picked up CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BEWICK'S WREN, SONG SPARROW, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (a nice flock), BUSHTIT and SPOTTED TOWHEE - still raining.
At Dave Mackie Park and Maxwellton we found MALLARD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, AMERICAN WIGEON (distant), NORTHERN PINTAIL, BUFFLEHEAD, KILLDEER (a flock of 14), AMERICAN CROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, BONAPARTE'S GULL, COMMON RAVEN, NORTHERN FLICKER, MEW GULL, GREATER SCAUP, RED-NECKED GREBE, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, AMERICAN ROBIN and BALD EAGLE.
The Ewing Road wetlands finally had water and MALLARD, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN PINTAIL, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREAT BLUE HERON, AMERICAN KESTREL and RED-TAILED HAWK (not surprisingly perched with the cold rainy weather), GADWALL, NORTHERN SHOVELER and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.
The tide was reasonably high when we arrived at Deer Lagoon on Sunlight Beach Rd. and we saw DARK-EYED JUNCO, HOUSE FINCH, MALLARD, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, NORTHERN PINTAIL, RING-BILLED GULL, GREAT BLUE HERON, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL and probably 3-4 thousand AMERICAN WIGEON crammed into the lagood - they were everywhere. But try as we might we couldn't find a Eurasian (but then many of the birds were so tightly grouped that wasn't too surprising). At the Useless Bay end of the access we found BRANT, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, DUNLIN and SANDERLING. We did make a quick pass at the western part of Deer Lagoon, but the water was so high it pretty well explained why the birds were over on the Sunlight Beach side (but we did have two COMMON RAVEN perched along Millman Rd.
We made our lunch stop (in the cars because of the rain - is the pattern well established?) - and saw CANADA GOOSE, WESTEN GREBE, COMMON LOON, BUFFLEHEAD, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, AMERICAN CROW, GOMMON GOLDENEYE, HORNED GREBE, BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, MALLARD and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT.
At Bush Point we saw WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, SPOTTED TOWHEE EUROPEAN STARLING and AMERICAN CROW as we arrived, and then braved the rain and saw ROCK PIGEON, COMMON LOON, BRANDT'S CORMORANT, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, BUFFLEHEAD, PELAGIC CORMORANT, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL.
The tide was in and high at Crockett Lake but we did pick up EUROPEAN STARLING, BALD EAGLE (on the ground consuming something), GREAT BLUE HERON, several GREATER YELLOWLEGS, a couple of distant unidentified Dowitchers, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, DUNLIN, MALLARD, NORTHERN HARRIER, BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER BUFFLEHEAD, HOODED MERGANSER and ROCK PIGEON. Down the road at Keystone there were WESTERN GREBE, RHINOCEROUS AUKLET, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, PELAGIC CORMORANT, HARLEQUIN DUCK, BALD EAGLE, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER and ROCK PIGEON. We felt ourselves lucky as it was only misting.
At Libby Beach it was still misting but we did see more HARLEQUIN DUCK, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, HORNED GREBE, and best of all a small group of LONG-TAILED DUCK. The Hastie Lake Rd. access had still more HARLEQUIN DUCK and BUFFLEHEAD. When we arrived at Bos Lake (with the rain resuming) we saw BUFFLEHEAD, AMERICAN WIGEON, many RUDDY DUCK, GREAT BLUE HERON. On the wires overhead there were RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, BREWER'S BLACKBIRD, HOUSE FINCH, EUROPEAN STARLING and a GLACOUS-WINGED GULL. Along Swantown Rd. there was a perched RED-TAILED HAWK.
At the Oak Harbor Marina we had a couple of very tightly packed groups of BLACK TURNSTONES (hard to estimate the numbers) and at least three SURFBIRDS in with them. Further out in the bay were big numbers of COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD, some GLACOUS-WINGED GULLs, DOUBLE- CRESTED CORMORANT and a single PIED-BILLED GREBE.
When we turned south from SR20 toward Laconner there was a RED-TAILED HAWK. Along Dodge Valley Rd. there were BREWER'S BLACKBIRDs and EUROPEAN STARLINGs.
We finished the day at the north end of Fir Island with a field of a couple of hundred TRUMPETER SWAN, SNOW GOOSE and at least one TUNDRA SWAN.
In spite of the rain, cool temperatures and windy weather it was a good day with a good group. We finished with 73 species.