[Tweeters] Weekend WOS Trip to San Juan County [Sep 9-10, 2017]

Nagi Aboulenein nagi.aboulenein at gmail.com
Thu Sep 14 21:07:43 PDT 2017


Here’s a link to some photos from the San Juan Islands WOS field trip:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsm428gxR

Also, on our way home Sunday evening
<http://airmail.calendar/2017-09-17%2019:00:00%20PDT>, Taghrid and I
stopped in Edmunds to see if we could catch a glimpse of the Swallow-tailed
Gull. Unfortunately, the tide got in the way of us being able to make it
all the way out to the dock where it was hanging out, but then it decided
to take off and we managed to catch (badly backlit) sight of it as it was
flying off into the sunset. Speaking of flying into the sunset, it seems we
were quite fortunate, as there have been no confirmed sightings of it since
then.

Good birding,

Nagi & Taghrid



On September 12, 2017 at 5:10:44 AM, Matt Bartels (mattxyz at earthlink.net)
wrote:

Hi Tweets -
This past weekend, Sep 9-10, I led a WOS trip to Lopez & San Juan Islands.
Eight of us looped around Lopez on Saturday, San Juan on Sunday, checking a
number of beaches and parks and seeing what September has to offer. It was
a lot of fun, with about 82 species showing up over the course of the two
days.

Saturday 9 Sep - Lopez Island
The biggest rarity on Saturday, our Lopez day, was rain — Though we are all
hearty PNW-ers, we admitted having grown so used to smokey and hot that we
weren’t quite prepared to the normal soggy life. It rained, steady but not
hard, for most all of Saturday. We continued to bird away, but did skip a
few longer hikes.
Our first major stop was Spencer Spit State Park, where we hiked down to
the spit— the water’s edge was crawling with some type of small crab, and
the rain began as we sorted through the large roosting gull flock. A group
of peeps tried to elude us, eventually stopping here and there for looks at
Western and Least Sandpipers. Taghrid pulled out two Semipalmated Plovers
staying close to the grass on the beach. American Pipits, the first of
several sightings over the weekend, were flitting about, occasionally
landing for good views.

A stop at Hummel Lake gave us our first Barn Swallow flock of the day along
with a nice group of Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers moving
rapidly. At the marsh near Airport Rd. on Fisherman Bay Rd., a good variety
of ducks was on display - Wood Duck, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal,
Gadwall, American Wigeon, and Ring-necked Duck.

Down at Fisherman’s Bay, we enjoyed looks at Black Oystercatchers and more
peeps, and out on the water found several Harlequin Ducks, Horned &
Red-necked Grebe, and a good number of Rhino Auklets.

After lunch at the preserve at the end of Fisherman Spit, we opted not to
take the longer hike at Iceberg Point, our next intended stop — Instead, we
moved on to the Sperry Peninsula, where we found more Semipalmated Plovers.
Wild Turkeys were along Aleck Bay road as usual - 2 adults and three very
young young. MacKaye Harbor gave us our only Greater Yellowlegs of the day,
and the tanks at the end of Richardson Road offered excellent looks at a
pair of Marbled Murrelets, still in alternate plumage.

Sunday 10 Sep - San Juan Island
We awoke to blue skies [yaay], but low-hanging fog [booo] — the fog lifted
by the time we got to American Camp though, and we soon had beautiful
weather for birding.
At False Bay, on the high tide, we had a good collection of Western and
Least Sandpipres again, along with Semipalmated Plover and more American
Pipits. At the 4th of July Beach, we couldn’t see out to the water, but we
did enjoy our first Fox Sparrow of the fall and another Semipalm Plover on
the beach. At the American Camp meadow, we spent a long time enjoying the
foxes, and also found about 5 Whimbrel in the fields — our only American
Kestrel of the trip gave brief views, along with a more cooperative
Northern Harrier. Overhead, we were surprised by a few Purple Martins. Down
at South Beach, a pair of Anna’s Hummingbirds were zooming around, along
with nice brief looks at Lincoln’s Sparrow.
Down at Cattle Point, we had good views of all three cormorant species, one
Black Turnstone and not too many species feeding in the current. Our lunch
stop was back at American Camp, where we enjoyed a surprise visit by a
Townsend’s Solitaire migrating through.
After a return to 4th of July Beach, where we could now enjoy Surf &
White-winged Scoters on the water, we headed to the west side of the island
— Great views out there, but not many birds around.
The final notable bird of the trip came as we pulled out of Friday Harbor
on the Ferry - we were settling in when a Parasitic Jaeger zoomed by
chasing a couple gulls — unfortunately, only a couple of us were able to
get views before the ferry moved onwards.

Overall, a fun weekend with good hearty birders —

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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