Brianpen Birds


Trip Report at Whidbey Island,  Feb 27 2010  09:45

Site description:
Whidbey Island in north-central Puget Sound, a long narrow island surrounded by relatively narrow saltwater channels. Lots of salt water bays and beaches, a few rocky headlands. Inland is a mix of pastures and small woodlands with lots of wooded and semi-open rural/residential areas, small farms, some extensive pastures and cultivated fields. Small freshwater lakes, ponds and marshes. Small and medium sized towns.

Trip description: Ghost of Whidbey Marathon 2010
Start in Coupeville, run along the E side of Whidbey Island through Oak Harbor, then north via back-roads to Dugualla Bay and continuing to Deception Pass, ending at Bowman Beach by Rosario. Saltwater bays and beaches, some mudflats, small freshwater lakes and marshes, small woodlots and pastures, wooded residential areas, towns and city parks, ending in mature Douglas fir forest. The course is mostly on secondary roads, some city streets and a short section of gravel trail. Nice variety of habitats for birding.
I carried binoculars and stopped fairly often to identify or count birds. Identified small birds mostly by sound, larger birds by sight. Small forest birds undercounted.

Altogether I saw or heard a total of 42 species during a 310 minute count period.
Canada Goose12Pairs on freshwater
Trumpeter Swan15Dugualla bay/marsh. Distant swans. Assumed to be the more common Trumpeter Swan.
American Wigeon10Freshwater marsh/pond S of Oak Harbor
Mallard120Or more, in pairs and small to large groups along muddy shores, in freshwater marshes and ponds and in a pasture.
Northern Pintail30Two flocks roosting on muddy beaches in Oak Harbor
White-winged Scoter30Raft of all-dark-looking ducks, a few with minor white on back?, among mussel pens in Penn Cove, ID uncertain.
Bufflehead10Pairs on freshwater, individual females on saltwater
Common Goldeneye35Small groups on saltwater.
Hooded Merganser63 pair at Twin Lagoons stream entrance into Penn Cove
Great Blue Heron1Freshwater marsh
Bald Eagle7Possibly fewer because they seemed to cover a lot of territory quickly. 5 seen at once overhead a few miles S of Oak Harbor. Adults and immatures mixed.
Red-tailed Hawk3Individual adults in open areas.
Killdeer2Calling in field
Long-billed Dowitcher10Flock at Twin Lagoons stream entrance, "keek" call heard. ID by season and voice.
Mew Gull25On beaches w/ Glaucous-winged
Ring-billed Gull3In gull flocks
California Gull1Adult w/ Glaucous-winged flock in vacant lot in Oak Harbor
Glaucous-winged Gull130Flocks at the head of Penn Cove and in Oak Harbor, grounded by the wind. Singles riding the wind everywhere.
Rock Pigeon7Two flocks in towns
Anna's Hummingbird2Singing, rural residential
Belted Kingfisher2
Northern Flicker4
American Crow50Flocks in San De Fuca and Oak Harbor. Not distinguished from Northwestern Crow.
Common Raven1Heard, rural semi-open area
Black-capped Chickadee2Undercounted for sure.
Chestnut-backed Chickadee6Small flock in alder, overlooked elsewhere
Bushtit15Two flocks
Bewick's Wren2Singing
Pacific Wren5Individuals calling, one singing
Golden-crowned Kinglet8Calls in woods
American Robin50Small flocks, some singing
European Starling70Two flocks noted
Spotted Towhee2Calls heard
Song Sparrow1Singing. Expected to see/hear more.
Golden-crowned Sparrow2In vacant yard w/ juncos, towhees and red-winged blackbirds. Thin calls from dense bushes in windswept beach areas were probably also Golden-crowneds, but not counted.
Dark-eyed Junco15Wooded and brushy residential, certainly undercounted.
Red-winged Blackbird25Small flocks in upland fields and rural residential areas a couple miles S of Deception Pass.
Western Meadowlark2Singing, Dugualla marsh fields
Brewer's Blackbird45Flocks in towns
House Finch8Singing, residential areas
Pine Siskin10Two flocks
House Sparrow5In towns