[Tweeters] Island, Jefferson, Kitsap birds

Gary Bletsch garybletsch at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 14 21:45:24 PST 2010

Dear Tweeters,

There were lots of fun birds to see around Port Townsend this weekend. I also saw some interesting birds on Whidbey Island and in Kitsap County.

On Saturday (2-13-2010) I made my way over there, via the Keystone Ferry. I stopped at Dugualla Bay (Whidbey Island) in a downpour, and was too lazy to get out and try to remember where it was that people had seen a Swamp Sparrow recently. However, there were several TRUMPETER SWANS and Canvasback there, among other birds.

Just as other Tweeters, I, too, was dismayed when I found kite-boarders on Crockett Lake. There were very few waterfowl to be seen near the ferry landing, thanks to this activity. Dadburned newfangled flyin' machines!

I learned a great trick while waiting to drive onto the Keystone Ferry on Saturday. The ferry line is THE BEST PLACE TO HAVE YOUR CAR BATTERY GO DEAD, bar none! The ferry staff had me jump-started in under five minutes, no exaggeration. FYI, this is a much handier location for having the car battery die than, say, the Waterville Plateau, Sullivan Lake, or the Umatilla National Forest. From now on, I plan to have all my car batteries die at ferry-boarding areas.

Even better, as I stepped out of the car at NAPA Auto Parts in Port Townsend, a MERLIN flew over!

At Fort Worden State Park, later that afternoon, about 15 Sanderlings landed at Point Wilson.

Birding around Port Townsend was even better today (2-14-2010) than yesterday. At China Gardens Pond was were a EURASIAN WIGEON, a Virginia Rail, and some Fox Sparrows.

At the Jefferson County Fairgrounds and the nearby Lynnsfield Ponds, I spent about an hour and a half in the early morning--a very good spot. Highlights included: Northern Shoveller; Northern Harrier (one immature male); California Quail; ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD; LINCOLN'S SPARROW. The Lincoln's was in brush alongside some tall evergreens that flank the Lynnsfield Ponds. These ponds are reached by a trail that leaves the fairgrounds near the campground and little league field. The Anna's was perched in blackberries near the gate to the trail that leads to the Lynnsfield Ponds.

Later in the day, I stopped along Highway 19, south of Chimacum. There were 15 TRUMPETER SWANS in a field here. This was near a business called "Magical Soil and Compost," just south of Riggles Auto Body, but north of Solstice Farm B & B. As I was scoping the swans, I also noticed a NORTHERN SHRIKE.

It was rainy today as I birded in Kitsap County, but I managed to see a few good birds here and there. In Sinclair Inlet off Port Orchard were, among other birds, an EARED GREBE, a THAYER'S GULL, and two EURASIAN WIGEON. At Manchester State Park, at least 9 BLACK SCOTERS were swimming around with about 350 Surf Scoters.

Hutton's Vireos were singing in at least three places I visited today: Shine Tidelands State Park, Kitsap Memorial State Park, and Indian Island Park. Interestingly enough, Ruby-crowned Kinglets seemed to shadow them at each location.

Yours truly,

Gary Bletsch

Gary Bletsch   Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA   garybletsch at yahoo.com    

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