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2017 Whidbey Wing-Dings

Bird-A-Thon Report – May 15, 2017

Sharon Aagaard, Margaret Snell, Stan Wood and Hugh Jennings went on the annual Whidbey Wing-Dings Bird- A-Thon. We met at the Kingsgate P&R at 4:30 am and got the 5:05 ferry to Whidbey Island. We birded our way up Whidbey Island and then came back by way of Skagit valley and the Stillaguamish River.  We recorded 98 species by lunch at noon. We added 9 more a total of 107. The record is 122 in 2015. The best sightings are shown in bold type. It was cool and windy with showers most of the day.

   

From the Clinton dock we saw Glaucous-winged Gulls, American Crow and European Starling. We drove Campbell Road and stopped at a number of places along the road and recorded species – Song Sparrow –Pacific Wren – Bewick’s Wren, Dark-eyed Junco, Brown Creeper – Pacific-sloped Flycatcher – Spotted Towhee – American Goldfinch – Purple Finch – Mourning dove – Black-headed Grosbeak – Brown-headed Cowbird – White-crowned Sparrow – Western Tanager – Red-breasted Nuthatch – Western Wood-Peewee – House Sparrow – White-crowned Sparrow – Spotted Towhee – Orange-crowned Warbler – American Robin.

 

At the Ewing Road and ponds we saw Marsh Wren - Canada Goose – Gadwall – Northern Rough-winged Swallow - Cliff Swallow - Tree Swallow – Barn Swallow –Violet-green Swallow - Red-winged Blackbird – Osprey – Cinnamon Teal – Virginia Rail (heard) – Eurasian Collared-Dove – Great Blue Heron – American Bittern (heard) – Pine Siskin – House Finch – Savannah Sparrow – Blue-winged Teal – American Coot.

 

At Sunlight Beach on Deer Lagoon and from the east dike we added large numbers of Gadwall – plus Great Blue Heron – Common Merganser – Caspian Tern – Whimbrel – Ring-billed Gull – Rock Pigeon – House Sparrow on the lagoon, and from the dike – Greater Scaup – Northern Flicker – Yellow Warbler – Northern Shoveler – Spotted Towhee – Black-capped Chickadee – Yellow Warbler – Rufous Hummingbird – Common Yellowthroat – Bald Eagle.

 

At the Lincoln St. beach access we added Brant – Common Loon – Surf Scoter – Killdeer – White-winged Scoter – Olive-sided Flycatcher.

 

Then it was on to the Earth Sanctuary which contributed Yellow Warbler – Black-throated Gray Warbler – Chestnut-backed Chickadee – Yellow-rumped Warbler - Golden-crowned Kinglet – Red-breasted Nuthatch – Downy Woodpecker – Golden-crowned Sparrow – Warbling Vireo – Swainson’s Thrush – Red-breasted Sapsucker – Sora – Cooper’s Hawk – Purple Finch - Wilson’s Warbler.

  

At the Double Bluff park we added Red-breasted Merganser – Pigeon Guillemot – Red-tailed Hawk. Then we went to the dike through the ponds and saw more Bald Eagle, Caspian Tern, Savannah Sparrow, Bufflehead, Canada Geese, Olive-sided Flycatcher, plus new birds – Green-winged Teal – Brewer’s Blackbird. Then we took the Admiralty Drive exit. We stopped to view the water in Admiralty Cove. We found Rhinoceros Auklet – Red-necked Grebe and about 40 more White-winged Scoter. We drove slowly by Crockett Lake and finally found a mud bar with 4 Dunlin and over 60 Western Sandpiper – Lesser Scaup and Purple Martins at bird houses.

 

At the ferry landing we didn’t see any new birds and went to the Fort Casey Park picnic grounds. It was too cold and windy to eat at the tables so ate our lunch in the car. Out total count for the morning was 98 species. Sharon heard some unusual sounds in the woods and finally tracked it down to 2-3 young Great Horned Owls hidden in a fir tree.

 

We drove on to Penn Cove to check out the floating rafts and came up with Harlequin Ducks - Belted Kingfisher. At Libbey Beach we added Pacific Loon and near Bos Lake we did see Horned Grebes. Our next successful stop was at Dugualla Lake where Spotted Sandpipers were heard. We went on to Rosario Beach State Park where we have always seen Black Oystercatchers and we found two on top of the one rock island. In the bay on the other side we finally saw Brandt’s Cormorant  and in the wooded California Quail were heard doing their “chi-CA-go” call. Margaret said that American White Pelican were being seen in Padilla Bay, so we drove up to the bay. It was all a big mudflat with 4-500 Great Blue Heron seen. On the far west side of the bay we could see white which scopes revealed were the American White Pelicans.

 

Our last stop was Wylie Slough area that is usually good for waterfowl and shore birds. Again, a lot of mud flats with a lot of swallows flying by. We thought one of them might be the elusive Bank Swallow. They were flying by so fast it was difficult to see any detail. However, a number of swallows were perched in one of the dead trees. We did get good looks with a scope at an overall brown swallow with a white under body and a brown collar beneath the neck. That is the first Bank Swallow we have seen on the Bird-a-thon. A very good climax to the trip and 107 bird species.

 

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