Whidbey Audubon Society
Whidbey Audubon Society is dedicated to the understanding, appreciation, and protection of wildlife species
and their habitat on Whidbey Island and surrounding waters.  Visitors are welcome to participate in our events.

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    Fact Sheets
Unusual Bird Sightings and Special Points of Interest
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Reporter's name: Linda Griesbach

Sighting Description: Apparent mallard hybrid drake seen with other male and female mallards. Note its dark legs. Any idea what this mix might be?

Location: North end of Lone Lake on private property.

Date and time: October 15, 2019 at 8:30 a.m.

Photo Title: Hybrid mallard

Comment submitted Oct 15, 2019

Reporter's name: Steve Ellis

Sighting Description: A Willet was with a flock of yellowlegs at Grasser's Lagoon. We saw it from the Hwy 20 pullout.
The Marbled Godwit was still at Crockett's Lake this evening.

Location: Grasser's Lagoon, Penn Cove

Date and time: 10/12/19 9:00am

Comment submitted Oct 12, 2019

Reporter's name: Carlos Andersen

Sighting Description: Crockett Lake American Pipits also Marbled Godwit still present. Also had a flyover of about 20 Greater White-fronted Geese.

Location: Crockett Lake

Date and time: 10/11/2019 0730 to 1000

Photo Title: American Pipit

Comment submitted Oct 11, 2019

Reporter's name: Carlos Andersen

Sighting Description: Mountin Bluebirds at Crockett Lake West of viewing platform and on south side of gravel road.

Location: Crockett Lake, West of viewing platform and south of gravel road.

Date and time: 10/11/2019, 0945

Photo Title: Mountain Bluebird

Comment submitted Oct 11, 2019

Reporter's name: Michael Sheldon

Sighting Description: Attaching a photo of the Marbled Godwit described by Jay Adams in his post yesterday.

Location: Crockett Lake

Date and time: October 10, 2019. 10 AM

Photo Title: Marbled Godwit

Comment submitted Oct 10, 2019

Reporter's name: Jay Adams

Sighting Description: Marbled Godwit. This bird was first seen on October 5 in essentially the same location, i.e., near the tip of the peninsula of dry land that ends more or less opposite the viewing platform. Two birds were present on the 5th. Today's bird, the larger and longer-billed of the two, has been present every day since.

Location: Crockett Lake

Date and time: October 9, 2019 at about 10:30 a.m.

Comment submitted Oct 9, 2019

Reporter's name: Mary Jo Adams

Sighting Description: I got a good look through my spotting scope at a black scoter yesterday afternoon at Maylor's Point. It was among a group of about 200 surf scoters. There were also a few white-winged scoters.

Location: Maylor's Point on the Seaplane Base in Oak Harbor

Date and time: 10/5/19 3:30 pm

Comment submitted Oct 6, 2019

Reporter's name: Patricia Prochaska

Sighting Description: Western Scrub Jay came to my suet feeder on my deck and spent time in my yard. It's the first time I have ever seen one here. I have many pictures. Better photos are not on this phone.

Location: Lagoon Point on Smugglers Cove Road

Confirmation: I am fairly experienced

Date and time: October 2, 2019 4:45-5:30 or so

Photo Title: Western Scrub Jay

Comment submitted Oct 3, 2019

Reporter's name: Judy Howard

Sighting Description: Four American white pelicans. I have never seen them here - beautiful!

Location: In Useless Bay, just off of Double Bluff Beach.

Confirmation: Listed as irruptive.

Date and time: October 2, 2019, 1 PM

Comment submitted Oct 2, 2019

Reporter's name: Tom Leschine

Sighting Description: A White-Throated Sparrow, tan-striped morph. Briefly sitting in an apple tree at close range but soon disappeared into dense vegetation.

Location: Just off Burley Road, in Clinton above the farm fields.

Date and time: 9/28/19 10:15 am

Comment submitted Sep 28, 2019

Reporter's name: Tom Leschine

Sighting Description: A flock of 35 white pelicans flew overhead the lower Maxwelton farmlands this morning, at about 10:15. They were moving south but soon turned west, as if heading to Deer Lagoon.

Location: Farmlands along Maxwelton Road, south of French Road

Date and time: 9/27/19 10:15 an

Comment submitted Sep 27, 2019

Reporter's name: George Heleker

Sighting Description: More Turkey Vultures!
After scanning the sky for more than 20 minutes on a sunny afternoon, on 9/25 starting at 2:30, we saw 17 vultures in a kettle to the south of
here at 2:51 pm. Their numbers increased as others joined them from the north/northwest. A little farther east, there was also another kettle of 24 birds. The two kettles became close enough to each other to become one for a total of 52 birds! By 3:02, all the birds were gliding off toward the south/southeast. A few minutes later, one bird appeared low in the south, and it soared for a little while then glided off toward the south/southeast. At 3:14, six birds appeared in the southwest and soared higher. Four of the six glided off toward the south/southeast, then in a few minutes five more joined the two remaining, and they eventually glided off toward the south/southeast. We stayed outside until 4:00 pm and did not see any more Turkey Vultures.
Our house is about 2 miles southwest of the Clinton ferry dock near the highest part of the south end of the island which is about 510 feet elevation. I'm beginning to wonder if we are on a Turkey Vulture "highway" for fall migration. If more move by in migration in this area, good places to view them would be on Rolling Hill Rd. and perhaps even better from the High Meadow Rd./Heggeness Rd. intersection.

Location: Two miles southwest of Clinton Ferry dock

Date and time: 9/25/19 2:30 pm- 4:00 pm.

Comment submitted Sep 26, 2019

Reporter's name: George Heleker

Sighting Description: Saw a kettle of 17 Turkey Vultures south of our place on this sunny afternoon. The numbers continued to grow as others came in from the north/northwest After 10 minutes or so, all 32 birds glided off toward the south/southeast. Late September to early October is when I have seen large numbers of Turkey Vultures at this location, always on the move southward.

Location: 2 miles southwest of the Clinton ferry

Date and time: 9/24/2019 3:28 pm

Comment submitted Sep 24, 2019

Reporter's name: Carlos Andersen

Sighting Description: Five Sandhill Cranes looking for a sheltered place out of the wind to spend the night. Thanks to Cindy Willis for posting on eBird her earlier sighting on Woodard when they flew over.

Location: Deer Lagoon, West Dike then flew to Double Bluff Road

Date and time: 9/23/2019 1900

Comment submitted Sep 23, 2019

 Upcoming Events 

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Schedule changes: Remember to check this space a few hours before any Whidbey Audubon Society event in case weather or illness cancels it. Consider signing up to receive updates by email but check here anyway in case emails fail to transmit in time.

Birding in the Neighborhoods - Weekly Field Trips

South Whidbey
The trips are every other Thursday and the meeting time varies with the season. If you would like to be notified of the events, contact Cathi Bower .

North Whidbey
The trips are on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. If you wish to be notified of the events, contact Marcia Lazoff .

Thursday, October 10: Meeting
Coupeville Recreation Hall, 901 NW Alexander St. Doors open at 7 p.m. for socializing before a short business meeting at 7:15 and the program begins at 7:30. The northern subspecies of the spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) resides precariously in Washington state. Often confused with the slightly larger and more common barred owl, it is elusive and rare. The program presenter, Joseph Buchanan, will provide background on the ecology of Spotted Owls in Washington as well as an update on the status of the species, conservation challenges and research and management actions that address those challenges. Joseph B. Buchanan is a natural resource scientist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Tuesday, Oct. 15: Field Trip
Darwin Wile will lead a field trip to Deer Lagoon, meeting at the Bayview Park & Ride at 9:00 a.m. While Deer Lagoon hosts multitudes of birds all year long, it doesn't get much better than October. There will be a profusion of ducks, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. Not a bad time for raptors either -- eagles, ospreys, harriers, and perhaps a falcon or two and maybe even a short-eared owl. Swallows and waxwings should still be present as well as sparrows and finches. Also, we should see numbers of loons, grebes, and scoters and probably brants and geese in Useless Bay, not to mention a pelican or two still hanging around. But the big numbers are likely to be shorebirds -- yellowlegs, western and least sandpipers, dunlins, dowitchers, and possibly a phalarope or two. All in all, October is a splendid time for birding!

Saturday, October 19: Field Trip
Jay Adams and Danielle Bishop from the Whidbey Camano Land Trust will lead a field trip to the Land Trust's Strawberry Point Preserve. The preserve is not open to the public yet! This tour will traverse through forest, wetlands, and a scenic meadow. Earning a local reputation for being the area in which Bruiser the elk resides, you will more likely see fall migrants and local common songbirds on this approximately 1.5 mile long hike! Whidbey Audubon funded a $10,000 conservation grant that allowed the Land Trust to protect the first 127 acres of the preserve and spearheaded current efforts to protect 120 more acres of adjoining habitat. See how this grant has been put to work! The trip will start at 9:00 a.m. and will be about 2 hours long. The trip is limited to 15 participants and registration is first come, first served. For more information and to register, . Directions will be provided upon registration. Sturdy hiking footwear is recommended; trails have some terrain and slight elevation climbs, please bring hiking poles if needed.

Saturday, October 26: Field Trip
Frances Wood and Patty Cheek will lead a field trip to Marymoor Park in Redmond. Come explore an area we don't usually visit. Some previous October bird sightings include Cackling Geese, Trumpeter Swan, Ring- necked Ducks, Virginia Rail, Mew Gulls, Northern Harrier, Great Horned Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owls, Pileated Woodpeckers, Cedar Waxwing, American Pipit, Pine Siskin, White-throated Sparrows, Varied Thrush, Northern Shrike, Killdeer, Snow Geese, Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and on and on. It's an exciting area to explore. We will meet at the Clinton Park and Ride at 7:30 am, carpool and catch the 8 am ferry. Please pack a lunch and we'll plan to return to Whidbey mid- afternoon. Please contact Frances Wood or Patty Cheek . As always, bring adequate footwear and layered clothing, binoculars, scopes, etc.

Whidbey Audubon Society
PO Box 1012
Oak Harbor,Washington 98277

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Western Willet

-- Ruth Richards

Hybrid mallard

-- Linda Griesbach

Marbled Godwit

-- Carlos Andersen

American Pipit

-- Carlos Andersen

Mountain Bluebird

-- Carlos Andersen

Marbled Godwit

-- Michael Sheldon

Western scrub jay

-- Patricia Prochaska

-- Lee

Great egret and great blue heron

-- Linda Griesbach

Solo great egret

-- Linda Griesbach

Black-throated gray warbler

-- Mary Jo Adams

Song sparrow fledgling?

-- Mary Hollen

Green Heron

-- Jay Adams

Bushtits at feeder

-- Patrick Kline

Michael Sheldon Photo/Green Heron

-- Jay Adams

Virginia Rail

-- Albert Rose

Hudsonian Godwit

-- Jay Adams