[Tweeters] SAS Whidbey Island trip 11 Aug 2011

B&PBell bellasoc at isomedia.com
Thu Aug 11 20:23:51 PDT 2011

Hi Tweets

Several of us from Seattle Audubon took a trip to Whidbey Island yesterday. The day started out overcast and continued that way for some time. We started out going north and making a quick stop at the Skagit Game Range (Wildlife Area). On the way into the area along Wylie Road we saw several WOOD DUCKs. We had 2 SPOTTED SANDPIPERs at the boat launch, and picked up 9 GREAT BLUE HERONS in the first pond near the parking lot. Also, AMERICAN ROBIN, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, CEDAR WAXWING, YELLOW WARBLER, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, a PIED-BILLED GREBE, BELTED KINGFISHER, MALLARD, NORTHERN SHOVELER, GADWALL, a single LESSER SCAUP, and 5 or 6 EURASIAN COLLARD-DOVEs.

We pushed on to Rosario Beach arriving at a very low tide, where we had a calling COMMON RAVEN and saw several PIGEON GUILLEMOTs, a BELTED KINGFISHER, and SONG and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWs. Several PELAGIC CORMORANTS were on the large rock in the bay. A ways down the road at Cornet Bay we saw an adult BALD EAGLE, GLAUCOUS-WINGED and an immature CALIFORNIA GULL, more Pigeon Guillemots. Six DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTs flew over. A short walk along the closed road out toward Hoypus Point yielded SONG SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, AMERICAN ROBIN, DOWNY and HAIRY WOODPECKERs and NORTHERN FLICKER and a very distant STELLER'S JAY called.

At Ala Spit County Park we, with low tide and lots of mud exposed we had about 30 WESTERN SANDPIPERs and 9 or 10 KILLDEER. Two CASPIAN TERNS flew over, and several GREAT BLUE HERONs were present. We stopped at the Oak Harbor Marina and had BLACK TURNSTONEs strung out along the waters edge and clustered on one of the log booms - no Surf Birds. From there we went to Joseph Whidbey State Park for lunch and scanned the Strait. By now we were on the west side of the island and the sun was out. We saw lots of Pigeon Guillemots, SURF SCOTERs and a couple of WHITE-WINGED SCOTERs, 2 breeding plumage COMMON LOONs and a single RED-NECKED GREBE. There were distant GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLs and a single RING-BILLED GULL flew over.

Bos Lake in Swantown was extremely high and no mud was exposed. A few MALLARDs and a couple of GADWALL were there. From the overlook of the Strait we could again see lots of Pigeon Guillemots, another COMMON LOON, and scattered SURF SCOTERs. A COMMON MURRE flew past as did quite a few RHINOCEROS AUKLETs. Waaay out there was a gull feeding frenzy, but even in spotting scopes the distance was too great. At the Hastie Lake boat launch there were still more Pigeon Guillemots. At Libby Beach still more Pigeon Guillemots.

Fort Casey State Park picnic area yielded GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETs (heard), HOUSE FINCH, CHESTNUT-BACK and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEEs, BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, AMERICAN ROBIN. Several BARN SWALLOWs were above and a single VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW flew by. Down by the ferry terminal there were more Pigeon Guillemots, and the jetty was absolutely covered with GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLs and hybrids and HEERMANN'S GULLs.

We cruised along the edge of Crockett Lake and close to us we saw many WESTERN SANDPIPERs, KILLDEER, 2 SEMI-PALMATED PLOVERs. Further out were a group of DUNLIN and a line of CASPIAN TERNs. Still further out the lake were thousands of peeps (too distant to identify, but likely WESTERN SANDPIPERs as that was all we saw close in). SAVANNAH SPARROWs were in the grasslands and a male and female NORTHERN HARRIER came by. MORNING DOVE was there, and just east of the lake a RED-TAILED HAWK was circling overhead.

We made a quick stop at Deer Lagoon, but the tide was in and there was no exposed mud and so no shorebirds. Further along the ponds on Ewing Road had a couple of MALLARDs, a PIED-BILLED GREBE, and an AMERICAN COOT.


It was a good day in attractive surroundings. We wound up with 65 species.

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA
mail to bell asoc at iso media dot com

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