[Tweeters] 2016 Whidbey Wing-Dings Bird-A-Thon Report – May 11, 2016

Hugh Jennings h2ouzel at comcast.net
Sat May 14 09:21:24 PDT 2016

Sharon Aagaard, Margaret Snell, Mark Crawford and Hugh Jennings went on the annual Whidbey Wing-Dings Bird- A-Thon. It was sunny all day with temperature in upper 60s to upper 70s all day. We got on the 0530 ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton, birded our way up Whidbey Island and then come back by way of the Skagit and Stillaguamish valleys. We had 98 species in about 7 hours before lunch. Six more hours of birding after lunch got us 14 more for a total of 112.

At the P&R at 0445 we got Dark-eyed Junco and American Robin. We started with Glaucous-winged Gulls, American Crow, Rock Pigeon and House Sparrow at the Mukilteo ferry dock. On the way to and at the Clinton ferry dock we added Lesser Scaup, Caspian Terns, Surf Scoter, Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, Pigeon Guillemots.

Along Campbell Road we stopped at a few wooded areas which were very productive. We saw and/or heard Wilson’s Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Spotted Towhee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-headed Grosbeak, Northern Flicker, Tree Swallows, Song Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Northern Flicker, Violet-green Swallows, Mourning Dove, Western Tanager, White-crowned Sparrow, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Pileated Woodpecker, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Bewick’s Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, Pacific Wren, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Orange-crowned Warbler, California Quail..

At the Ewing Road ponds there was less water than usual due to dry spring. So we didn’t see/hear the expected Virginia Rail, Sora, American Bittern. Quite a disappointment. We did record Savannah Sparrows, Greater Yellowlegs, Mallard, Killdeer, Dunlin, Northern Rough-winged, Cliff and Barn Swallows, Western Sandpiper, Marsh Wren. The Osprey were at their usual nest. A House Wren was heard at same place as last year. Common Yellowthroat and Red-winged Blackbirds, Gadwall, Cinnamon Teal was a nice bird to see. Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Ducks, Bald Eagle, and Black-capped Chickadee.

On the way to Sunlight Waters Beach Road by Deer Lagoon a Brown Creeper was heard in the woods, also Warbling Vireo, Eurasian Collared-Dove. At the lagoon, the tide was out and Whimbrel were everywhere, at least 20, and Caspian Terns, House Finch, Killdeer, Ring-billed Gull, Canada Geese, many Great Blue Heron, Western Sandpipers. Rufous and Anna’s Hummingbird were perched in bushes along dike at east side of lagoon. About 5-6 crows were harassing a Northern Harrier trying to hide in a dense tree. A female Yellow-headed Blackbird was perched in tree,.

At the nearby Lincoln St. access to Useless Bay a Bald Eagle flew by, also saw Bonaparte’s Gulls, White-winged Scoters, Pacific, Red-throated and Common Loons, Purple Martins, Red-necked Grebes, a couple of Osprey flew by, Red-breasted Merganser, Our next stop at The Earth Sanctuary was good for Golden-crowned Kinglet, Yellow Warbler and Western Wood-Peewee,

At Double Bluff Beach we recorded Rhinoceros Auklets and then went to the ponds to the east and walked the dike. These ponds are always a surprise for the variety of waterfowl seen. Saw more Mallard, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Bufflehead, Northern Pintail, Ruddy Duck, even a river otter, American Wigeon, Lesser & Greater Scaup, male Northern Harrier, lots of Great Blue Heron, Hooded Mergansers.

We drove Honeymoon Bay road and at clear cut area where we heard an Olive-sided Flycatcher we stopped. Again we heard the “Quick-three-beers” call and located the flycatcher. Also saw a Golden-crowned Sparrow. We went on to North Bluff at Greenwater and tried to call out a Virginia Rail or Sora without success. But did see a Red-tailed Hawk. We went on to the Admiral Way road where we stopped at on overlook of the bay and found a Horned Grebe, Pigeon Guillemot, White-winged Scoters. Along Crockett Lake we saw a Double-crested Cormorant. At the old dock at the ferry landing parking lot we added Brandt’s & Pelagic Cormorants. In the bay were 30+ Western Grebe,

We ate lunch at Fort Casey State Park about noon. Our total at lunch after 7 hours of birding was 98. Previous high for lunchtime was 108 in 2015. At Penn Cove mussel farms we saw 100+ Surf Scoters and Brewer’s Blackbird. Then at Partridge Point we found three Black Oystercatchers. On Hastie Lake road we saw a Cooper’s Hawk fly over. At Bos Lake we found usual ducks already recorded, but did see three Redhead ducks and heard a Virginia Rail. On the beach west of the lake we saw Common Murre. Then it was on to Dugualla Bay where we found dike road was blocked on the south for maintenance. So we had to drive all the way around and get to the dike from the north. It was a good decision as we saw Greater White-fronted Geese and Cackling Geese mixed in with many Canada Geese. And, we finally found the Spotted Sandpiper usually seen here.

We proceeded on to Rosario Beach SP and saw Orange-crowned Warbler. We visited the house on Valentine Road without anything new. Then it was on to parking lot at Wylie Slough in the Skagit Game Range. We added Cedar Waxwing, Blue-winged Teal, Least Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Peregrine Falcon, Great Horned Owl, adult & juvenile, Bullock’s Oriole, and Turkey Vulture. This was a great finish to our day and brought our total to a very respectable 112 for the day.

Hugh Jennings

Bellevue, WA

h2ouzel AT comcast.net
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