Whidbey Audubon Society

Unusual Sightings

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Reporter's name: Marianne Burr

Sighting Description: This is the second house wren nest on our back porch this year.. We guess it is the same hen's second batch. The first time she used the platform of our can crusher. This time she is using our rag bag. Very interesting how she used larger twigs to make a foundation structure. You can see them sticking out on the nest edges. Each of the 4 eggs is dime size. I saw the first nest jam packed with nestlings but do not know if they fledged. This is a good year for a second family!

Location: Olympic View Drive, Crockett Lake Estates

Date and time: Sunday, July 12, 1:30 pm

Photo Title: House wren nest

Comment submitted Jul 12, 2020

Reporter's name: Ken Hillers

Sighting Description: Ebey's Prairie - Acorn Woodpecker (deceased)
I'm visiting my parents, who live near the Sunnyside cemetery at Ebey's prairie. In their yard, I found a dead acorn woodpecker associated with a nest hole in a dead tree. It's probably been dead for a week or so, but is definitely an acorn woodpecker.

Location: S Sherman Rd, near Sunnyside cemetery

Confirmation: Shared picture with Sarah Schmidt, who agreed with identification.

Date and time: July 11, 2020; 8:30 pm

Photo Title: Whidbey Island acorn woodpecker

Comment submitted Jul 12, 2020

Reporter's name: Dave Parent

Sighting Description: Juvenile Brown Pelican first seen by me in Port Townsend, Admiralty Inlet side of Point Hudson Marina and then conveniently relocated about a quarter mile from Fort Casey in Island County waters.

Location: A baitball about a quarter mile offshore from the Coupeville ferry landing.

Date and time: 7/11/20 4:10 pm

Comment submitted Jul 11, 2020

Reporter's name: Ken Hillers

Sighting Description: Possible Chipping Sparrow
We were hiking the trail from Sunnyside cemetery to the Bluff trail at Ebey's Prairie; maybe halfway out to the bluff. There was a solitary sparrow on the fenceline above the trail. Sparrow had a solid rufus cap, a clear and light-colored breast, and a line through the eye with white above. No call was heard. Bird was seen July 10, around 7:30pm. Not refound morning of July 11. Best match seemed to be Chipping sparrow, which I've seen a few times but am not very familiar with.

Location: On trail from Sunnyside cemetery to Bluff trail; Ebey's Prairie.

Date and time: July 10, 2020; 7:30pm

Photo Title: Possible Chipping Sparrow (cropped)

Comment submitted Jul 11, 2020

Reporter's name: Dave Parent

Sighting Description: At least 10 Semipalmated Sandpipers and a possible Stint in a group of several hundred peeps, mostly Western Sandpipers.
The possible stint was a noticeably reddish peep in a flock on a sandbar further offshore. Heat shimmer and and then, a hunting Peregrine Falcon prevented a positive ID

Location: Crockett Lake west of the pilings

Date and time: 6/8/20 8pm

Comment submitted Jul 8, 2020

Reporter's name: Mary Jo Adams

Sighting Description: Shortly after noon today on the little island in the lake at the west end of Dugualla Bay I saw two very young downy covered spotted sandpiper chicks. They were following the parent bird and bobbing their tails. There was also another older juvenile that did not have spots on its breast but it did have a little bit of downy fluff remaining on its otherwise feathered body. It was not with the adult and chicks but was on the little spit that sticks out from the island and it was also doing the tail bobbing. I was not able to get a photo.

Location: Dugualla Bay-west end

Date and time: 7/8/20 about 12:30 pm

Comment submitted Jul 8, 2020

Reporter's name: Sarah Schmidt

Sighting Description: Although not an unusual species for Whidbey, a Bald Eagle visiting our backyard birdbath for a drink is a first -- on July 4th no less! Eagle stayed from 8:10-8:20 pm. Periodically it leaned down and dipped its lower bill in the water to drink. My photos aren't great quality but a good record. Mostly I captured the event in hand-held video, but a still is included.

Location: 3 miles south of Coupeville

Date and time: July 4, 8:10-8:20 p.m.

Photo Title: July 4th backyard Bald Eagle

Comment submitted Jul 4, 2020

Reporter's name: Deb Stewart

Sighting Description: I was driving down Cultus Bay Rd when a large white bird in the marsh caught my attention. I had my camera and was able to pull over and get a couple of quick pics of a Trumpeter Swan. I know it's hard to keep track of time in 2020 but I'm pretty sure it is July. Someone tell this swan! Maybe I'm behind the curve and this is a known bird?

Location: Cultus Bay/French Rd Marsh

Date and time: 7/4/2020 12:00 PM

Photo Title: Trumpeter Swan

Comment submitted Jul 4, 2020

Reporter's name: Nancy Johnson

Sighting Description: 60-80 Great Blue Herons seen from Dugualla Bay Heights on the mud flats at low tide, both yesterday and today.

Location: Dugualla Bay Heights

Date and time: July 2 aand 3. Low tide.

Comment submitted Jul 3, 2020

Reporter's name: Dave Parent

Sighting Description: Not Whidbey, but close. I have seen a pair of Marbled Murrelets at the Mukilteo ferry landing every day this week. Most commonly on the south side of the dock. If anyone would like a nice closeup view.

Location: Mukilteo Ferry Dock

Date and time: 7/1/20 11am

Comment submitted Jul 1, 2020

Reporter's name: Ruth Scrivner

Sighting Description: (roughly counted) 200 Common Merganser in transitional plumage.

Location: Dugualla Bay west side

Date and time: June 28, 9am

Photo Title: common merganser

Comment submitted Jun 28, 2020

Reporter's name: Mary Jo Adams

Sighting Description: Black-billed magpie seen at NAS Whidbey at about 1 pm today. According to eBird, this species has never been reported in Island County before.

Location: NAS Whidbey

Date and time: 6/28/20 1 pm

Comment submitted Jun 28, 2020

Reporter's name: RUTH SCRIVNER

Sighting Description: roughly 200 Common Merganser in transitional plumage I will send one picture but have more if you request. Our Bird-list lists these as rare in the summer. Hope this may help with the next list. I am having difficulties sending pictures on this form.

Location: Dugualla Bay west side and north of Dike Road.

Date and time: June 28 9am

Photo Title: common merganser in transitional plumage

Comment submitted Jun 28, 2020

Reporter's name: Vincent Ho

Sighting Description: A pair of Band- tailed Pigeon appeared at feeder

Location: South of Dugualla State Park along Green Road

Date and time: June 11 2020 at 5 pm and they returned on 6/12

Photo Title: Band-tailed Pigeon

Comment submitted Jun 15, 2020

Reporter's name: Libby Hayward

Sighting Description: Great Egret among many Great Blue Heron in Deer Lagoon! 40+ American White Pelicans on the estuary side too.....

Location: Deer Lagoon, northeast end of the west dike trail.

Date and time: 6/13/2020 8:40AM

Photo Title: 06132020 Great Egret

Comment submitted Jun 13, 2020

Reporter's name: George E Heleker

Sighting Description: Out at the lagoon this morning, and every time I counted the American White Pelicans, there were more. About a half hour before I left, I counted between 90 and 94 several times, but it was not an exact count because some of the birds were too close together.
Then 8 birds flew over toward the Deer Lagoon sign and started feeding. Gradually, over about 20 minutes, the rest of them flew over to that location in small groups making an accurate count possible. The count was 98, which is more than were reported at any point last year. The previous three years, they had topped out at 200+ at the lagoon.
Not only were there smaller numbers last year, but they didn't feed much at the marsh as they had in the past. Instead, they often headed out to the bay or to parts unknown. Was there a lack of fish in the marsh? Today they fed off and on in the marsh in fairly large groups. Right before I left, about 75 of them circled high up into the sky, and most of that group made its way north and out of sight.

Location: Deer Lagoon

Date and time: a.m. hours of June 8, 2020

Comment submitted Jun 8, 2020