Whidbey Audubon Society

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Unusual Bird Sightings and Special Points of Interest

Reporter's name: Darwin Wile

Sighting Description: merlin, adult male; perched in tree, eating something (?), posted because merlin is listed as rare in summer on Whidbey check list.

Location: Deer Lagoon, on hillside below my yard

Date and time: 8/10/17; 8:00 am

Above comment submitted Aug 10, 2017

Reporter's name: Jay Adams

Sighting Description: Five juvenile Baird's Sandpipers.

Location: On the flats near the east end of Crockett Lake in Coupeville.

Date and time: August 9, 2017 at about 11:30.

Above comment submitted Aug 9, 2017

Reporter's name: Vincent Hagel

Sighting Description: Six Eastern Kingbirds. Watched them for about half an hour. They were flying to and fro across a marsh, to a fence, to wires, onto shrubbery, eating insects. Fairly wary, but I was able to get within about thirty yards of them. Sunny, but very smokey. Sibley's Guide says this bird is rare in this range, seen maybe once each year, or as many as a few times each year.

Location: Skagit Wildlife Area southwest of Conway, Wa.

Confirmation: I'm including two photos.

Date and time: August 8, 2017 10:30 a.m.

Above comment submitted Aug 8, 2017

Reporter's name: Vincent Hagel

Sighting Description: I'm aware of the White Pelicans at Double Bluff, but this morning eight White Pelicans flew by my house less than one hundred yards off my bluff at eye level, at one hundred-eight feet elevation.

Location: About one mile east of Polnell Point.

Date and time: August 6 at 8:30 a.m.

Above comment submitted Aug 6, 2017

Reporter's name: Joe Sheldon

Sighting Description: Willet

Location: Crockett Lake west of the pilings with on a mud bar with resting gulls.

Confirmation: I was able to confirm a previous sighting. Unmistakable longitudinal white and black wing pattern when the bird flew.

Date and time: 4 August 2017; 5:45 pm.

Above comment submitted Aug 5, 2017

Reporter's name: Joe Sheldon

Sighting Description: Horned Puffin swimming with a group of Tufted Puffins in a kelp bed seen and photographed by Elizabeth Zwamborn, faculty member teaching Marine Mammals at Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship. Elizabeth was on a whale watching boat.

Location: Smith and Minor Islands Aquatic Reserve @ N48 degrees 19 minutes, 35.51 seconds; W122 degrees 51 minutes 5.78 seconds.

Confirmation: The Horned Puffin is a rare bird for the Salish Sea. It was confirmed by a very clear photograph (posted on Whidbey Audubon Website) that shows both the Tufted Puffin and Horned Puffin swimming next to each other.

Date and time: 11:59 AM, August 3, 2017

Above comment submitted Aug 4, 2017

Reporter's name: Joe Sheldon

Sighting Description: 35 American White Pelicans on Crockett Lake this morning at 7:15 AM.

Location: Crockett Lake

Date and time: 4 August 2017; 7:15 AM

Above comment submitted Aug 4, 2017

Reporter's name: Jay Adams

Sighting Description: Among the hundreds of peeps, a dozen Long-billed Dowitchers, and a half-dozen Semi-palmated Plovers were six American White Pelicans. This is the first time I have seen pelicans in this location.

Location: Crockett Lake as seen from the point behind Keystone Cafe.

Date and time: July 29, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Above comment submitted Jul 29, 2017

Reporter's name: Martha Hollis

Sighting Description: A dozen white Pelicans in Crocket Lake behind the Keystone Cafe at 2:00pm this afternoon.

Location: Crockett Lake

Date and time: 2:00 Saturday, July 29

Above comment submitted Jul 29, 2017

Reporter's name: Steven Ellis

Sighting Description: A Tufted Puffin was working a school of forage fish (sandlance?) offshore from Ebey's Landing. There were lots of gulls, 1 Marbled Murrelet and a couple of Pigeon Guillemots, too. 1 Common Loon in alternate plumage and several Caspian Terns over the shallows.
I apologize for not getting this report turned in last night.

Location: Ebey's Landing, about 200 yards straight out from the picnic tables

Date and time: 7/26/2017 6:45 pm.

Above comment submitted Jul 27, 2017

Reporter's name: George Heleker

Sighting Description: I heard an Osprey calling very close to the house this morning. An Osprey is not that unusual around here, because there is always an active nest east of here each year, but this bird sounded really close, causing me to rush to the back door and look up, expecting to see an Osprey right above the house. No Osprey in sight.
Then it called again, and I was worried that it was injured because the call came from what sounded like a low place in a tree next to the house. The next call gave the bird away, a Steller's Jay hanging on a suet feeder in our back yard!
I enjoy birding by ear, and can tell you that the jay did an excellent job of sounding like an Osprey. It never ceases to amaze me how well Steller's Jays can learn to copy another bird's sounds as well as copy other sounds, such as the bird we had around our place in Bellingham for more than a year that did a perfect job of meowing like a cat!
Score for the day: Steller's Jay 1, me zero.

Location: Our home southwest of Clinton

Date and time: 7/26/17--- 9:12 a.m.

Above comment submitted Jul 26, 2017

This year (2017-18) the class will be held at Pacific Rim Institute in Coupeville. It is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on the first and third Thursdays of each month from September through May. We have 3 to 4 places left to fill. If you are Interested call or email Sharon Gauthier to see if there is space available. She will then send you registration information Contact her at 425-466-2430 or by email, sharongauthier88@gmail.com

Reporter's name: Darwin Wile

Sighting Description: At least 170 white pelicans fairly near the west dike of Deer Lagoon. Many have the dark smudges on their heads typical of summer adults.

Deer Lagoon was otherwise fairly quiet - a few greater yellowlegs, least and western sandpipers. Also a few ducks in eclipse plumage.

Location: west dike, Deer Lagoon

Date and time: 7-22-17; 1:00pm

Above comment submitted Jul 22, 2017

Reporter's name: Terry Master

Sighting Description: On 18 July my wife and I were waiting for a flight at the San Juan Airlines building in Anacortes. I walked up the hill from the parking lot to the entrance road and observed a mixed flock of robins and starlings feeding on red fruits on a tree along the road. Another bird caught my eye that popped up from the understory several times and was also seen on the wires across the street from the tree. I had excellent views but had no idea what it was initially other than that it looked pipit like generally although the beak was a bit more substantial and yellowish, at least on the lower mandible. A quick look in the Nat'l. Geographic field guide indicated that it was not in fact a pipit, because of the lack of a dark malar stripe, although there was a molar pattern but lighter in color. This focused my attention on the Skylark although at the time I didn't read the account thinking that it must be an Alaskan stray and we at that point had to board our plane. Later when reading the account I was surprised to see they were introduced to Vancouver Island and had apparently been in the San Juans but were now considered to be extinct. I am on vacation from Pennsylvania but I am an avid birder and biology professor who teaches an ornithology class for many years. Thus, I am not familiar with the area in general and don't know, perhaps they have re-populated the islands since the account was written (6th edition of the NG guide) and are seen occasionally but I noticed they are not on the Whidbey Island listing. Having finally read the account I thought I should report it. The main field mark that made me think pipit or some sort of grassland bird were the extremely long claws on the rear toe which I had excellent looks at. That feature, coupled with the light malar markings and a somewhat thicker bill than a pipit makes me think it was a skylark, unfortunately, there are no photographs.

Location: entrance road to the San Juan Airlines building/terminal in Anacortes just above the parking lot.

Date and time: 18 July at approximately 8:30 AM

Above comment submitted Jul 22, 2017

Reporter's name: Dyanne Sheldon

Sighting Description: A flock of 35-plus ravens flying north, east of our place in Clinton, over the saltwater. Absolutely silent. Saw this same "phenomena" last year at roughly the same date; and the same late afternoon/early evening time frame. We are used to seeing family groups of ravens this time of year: 3-5 birds. But this large group of ravens streaming north (they are not in a tightly packed flock but stream by for 8 minutes or so) seems noteworthy. Anyone have an idea why? I'm wondering if they might be heading to the big rivers to feed on salmon carcasses.

Location: East of the south end of the Island, over the water between Clinton and Mukilteo

Date and time: July 20; 6:30 pm

Above comment submitted Jul 22, 2017

Reporter's name: Ruth scrivner

Sighting Description: Six white pelicans in Dugualla Bay just of from our house on Jones Road.

Location: 4232 Jones rd

Date and time: Saturday July 2017 at 1 pm

Above comment submitted Jul 22, 2017

Reporter's name: Jay Adams (with Ruth Richards and Carlos Anderson)

Sighting Description: Three Sanderlings, one of which was in breeding plumage. The species is marked "rare" in summer on Whidbey.

Location: Off-shore at Crockett Lake as seen from the path that leads to the water behind the Keystone Cafe.

Date and time: July 20, 2017 at roughly 9:30 a.m.

Above comment submitted Jul 20, 2017

WAS is reaching out to birders who would like to assist us in our mission by offering to lead a birding field trip or two.. Each year WAS hosts multiple birding field trips for both members and nonmembers. Typically, we schedule at least two field trips each month. Some of our field trips are to local sites like Deer Lagoon, Fort Casey and Deception Pass, others might be a bit further away like a ferry ride to Port Townsend or Birch Bay. Some field trips are a few hours long, others might be a day trip. We are open and will consider all suggestions. Please note, Field Trip leaders do not necessarily need to be expert birders, but rather good leaders who enjoy birding with others and are willing to help organize a trip. WAS has some helpful trip guidelines and I will also assist you with your planning. Please consider how you can help out and contact me with your ideas. Thank you, Ann Casey WAS Field Trip Chair email 360-331-4679

Reporter's name: David & Rhico Stamey

Sighting Description: We spotted 5 American White Pelicans swimming near the shore(along Dike Road)on Dugualla Bay. They stayed in a group and were dipping their bills for fish.

Location: Dugualla Bay along Dike Road

Date and time: July 16, 2017 2:30pm

Above comment submitted Jul 16, 2017

Reporter's name: darwin wile

Sighting Description: more than 100 pelicans, numerous least and western sandpipers, 10+ greater yellowlegs, 1 lesser yellowlegs, 6 long-billed dowitchers. Unable to find re-necked stint seen by Carlos.

Location: Deer Lagoon, west dike

Date and time: 7/14/17, 2:00 pm

Above comment submitted Jul 14, 2017

Reporter's name: Carlos Andersen

Sighting Description: Red necked Stint, reddish upper neck and head, white below.

Location: Deer Lagoon, Freeland

Confirmation: Photo posted.

Date and time: 7/13/2017, 500pm

Above comment submitted Jul 13, 2017

Reporter's name: George Heleker

Sighting Description: I am adding to the information already shared by Darwin about the American White Pelicans.
The birds were in 4 different groups when we first saw them. At times 10-35 would fly around the area including over the bay, then return. I tried counting them from several angles but it is impossible to absolutely count every bird when they are grouped together. At one point, they were in two groups, one group of about 120-130 on an island, and a second group of 55 feeding actively at the northwest end of the marsh. Right before we left, most of them took to the air and circled around just above, an awe-inspiring sight! It was last year on the 13th of July that the numbers of pelicans jumped up, and even more were at this location on the 14th. I was hoping that the same thing would happen again this year, and it appears to be taking place, at least for now.

Location: Deer Lagoon

Date and time: 7/13/2017 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Above comment submitted Jul 13, 2017

Reporter's name: Darwin Wile

Sighting Description: a flock of about 100 pelicans are "kettling" over Useless Bay. This is the greatest number of pelicans that I have seen near Deer Lagoon since last summer.

Location: Useless Bay/Deer Lagoon

Date and time: 7/13/17; 1:55 pm

Above comment submitted Jul 13, 2017

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