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.
Upcoming Events "Shorelines" Newsletter (PDF) Birding Class Join Whidbey Audubon Contact Us
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Unusual Bird Sightings and Special Points of Interest
Post an unusual bird sighting| Get emails when sightings are posted.

We live across a ravine from the osprey nest on Hwy 525 and Mohawk Dr. The nest appeared to have been removed this winter by county crews.

Today we had an osprey fly closely overhead with branches in it's talons. It will be interesting to watch and see if they rebuild their nest!

Paula Flores
Greenbank, WA

Above comment submitted Apr 17, 2014

1st of the year Mallard ducklings showed up yesterday (4/16) at the Coupeville High School retention pond.
-----Steve Ellis

Above comment submitted Apr 17, 2014

Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Tree Swallows and River Otter at Fort Ebey State Park . ~9:45am 4/15/14 Emma Ruggiero

Above comment submitted Apr 15, 2014

It was nice to see Osprey, a Yellow Warbler and Violet-green Swallows.

Craig & Joy Johnson

Above comment submitted Apr 13, 2014

THE FIELD TRIP SCHEDULED FOR 1:00PM 4/13 HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE WHIDBEY ISLAND MARATHON. The original meeting place is unavailable and it's too late to come up with an alternate plan.
----Steve Ellis

Above comment submitted Apr 12, 2014

The Birding Behavior Class scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, is canceled. Houston was injured and needs time to heal. We will reschedule in the fall.
Call Anna Swartz with questions. 206-293-3916

Above comment submitted Apr 11, 2014

Today at 12:45pm there was a female MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD on the beach by my house at Dines Point, Greenbank!

Dave Parent

Above comment submitted Apr 7, 2014

Not an unusually sighting but a pair of pileated woodpeckers on opposite sides of a suet feeder doesn't occur every day. Sighted on 6 April 2014 at about 1730 Davis landing. I assume they are a breeding pair and I have a picture. Ted Henderson

Above comment submitted Apr 6, 2014

Saw a turkey vulture atop a deer carcass by the side of E Harbor Road this morning, snacking heartily, approx 3/4 mile along from the intersection of Goss Lake Rd, towards Freeland
Penny Thackeray

Above comment submitted Apr 6, 2014

This is a reminder that The Bird Behavior class still has room for more birders. This is a class with Houston Flores on Saturday, April 12th at Trinity Lutheran Church Annex. The class is from 9-noon. We will have a sack lunch together and spend the afternoon on a field trip. Please call Anna Swartz at 206-293-3916 to register. Cost is $20 paid to Whidbey Audubon Society and sent to Anna Swartz at PO Box 232, Freeland, WA 98249.

Above comment submitted Apr 6, 2014

Well, this bird is not unusual on Whidbey but it was the first time I'd ever seen one on my property in ten years - a Ring-necked Pheasant!

My husband and I heard a LOUD strange noise when we were walking the cats on Thursday. We thought it was a stalled car on our lane and Gordon ran to investigate. Then the next day the neighbors phoned to tell us that a pheasant was walking near our gazebo, and there it was.

He just wandered by outside my window a moment ago.

That's what I love about birding, it can still be surprising after 27 years.

Linda Bainbridge

Above comment submitted Apr 5, 2014

Eurasian Collared-Dove seen for the past two days in our backyard on the Holmes Harbor Golf Course in Freeland.

David & Louise Kankel

Above comment submitted Apr 4, 2014

2pm, 4/2/14 - Just spotted an adult Golden Eagle over Freeland.

Dave Parent

Above comment submitted Apr 2, 2014

It was nice to see a couple of Savannah Sparrows at Keystone Spit today (March 31st) Craig & Joy Johnson

Above comment submitted Mar 31, 2014

First Gold Finch at our feeder
Sat March 29
Goss Ridge Rd Freeland Wa

John Schuster

Above comment submitted Mar 29, 2014

Rough-legged Hawk seen flying over Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stwardship south of Coupeville in Smith Prairie about 4 PM on March 26. This is pretty late in the season to see this bird. Unlike 2013, they have been largely absent in central Whidbey during the early months of 2014. Joe Sheldon.

Above comment submitted Mar 29, 2014

1 American Bittern and 2 Wood Ducks reported on eBird at Ewing Road Marsh at ~8am Tuesday March 25, 2014

Above comment submitted Mar 26, 2014

A Ring Necked Duck was in our pond Sunday. This is the first I've seen on this part of the island, though I saw more than twenty on Crockett Lake about three months ago. Also, on Saturday, we drove to Holmes Harbor to view the Puffins and saw about twenty Surf Scoters.

Above comment submitted Mar 25, 2014

Yesterday March 24 2014, Greenbank, WA first of year Purple Finches, male and female pair. Odd that the male hasn't been singing yet (that I've noticed!). Back again today at our feeders.

Still have the flock of eight flickers hanging around!

Paula Flores
Greenbank, WA

Above comment submitted Mar 25, 2014

Editor's comment on the puffin report:
I suspect what you saw were Surf Scoters? They have rather similar coloring to Tufted Puffins. A puffin in Holmes Harbor is exceedingly unlikely, and 20-30 of them nigh impossible. If you are convinced they are puffins, they need to be documented with a photograph. Thank you for your enjoyment and interest in the birds around us.

Sarah Schmidt, 929-3592

Above comment submitted Mar 21, 2014

Yesterday, 3/20, I heard the 1st of the year Orange-crowned Warbler singing from the thicket surrounding the pond near Coupeville Middle School.
Steve Ellis

Above comment submitted Mar 21, 2014

I spotted 20 to 30 Tufted Puffins in Holmes Harbor across from Nichols Brothers on March 20th at around 9:45am.

Louise Kankel

Above comment submitted Mar 20, 2014

Male Eurasian Wigeon at Swantown midday and Common Goldeneye courtship display on Lake Pondilla. 3/18/14
-Emma Ruggiero

Above comment submitted Mar 19, 2014

For the 1st time in 17 years I saw a Black Oystercatcher on the Admiralty Inlet portion of beach below Windmill Heights picking through the rocks. Windmill Heights is on the north end of Mutiny Bay and Admiralty Inlet. This is the farthest south on Whidbey that I've personally seen a Black Oystercatcher.

Jo Reeves

Above comment submitted Mar 15, 2014

Five turkey vultures soaring low over the north end of Oak Harbor this afternoon-- the first I've seen this year.

Sarah Schmidt

Above comment submitted Mar 14, 2014

I heard my first Ruby-crowned Kinglet song of the year today!

Above comment submitted Mar 13, 2014

Was driving to my home this morning in Crescent Harbor military housing and spotted a Cooper's hawk on the side of the road with a freshly killed mouse. So beautiful and very exciting to see so close!

Above comment submitted Mar 10, 2014

Special Feature

Steve Ellis has produced a splendid fact sheet on woodpeckers as drumming season commences.

Our first Male Rufous at the feeder this morning.
Battling with our resident Anna's.

Phil and Lydia
March 8th

Above comment submitted Mar 8, 2014

Our first tree swallows just swooped in! Four birds (maybe blown north by these rain storms?) feeding over our pastures. March 5. Dyanne

Above comment submitted Mar 5, 2014

Tuesday March 4th Female Rufus hummingbird at our feeder in Freeland.
John/Barb Schuster

Above comment submitted Mar 4, 2014

Yesterday morning I watched an adult Bald Eagle attack a male Northern Harrier that apparently strayed too close to the eagle's nest. The bigger bird made several quick turns to try and hit the smaller raptor. The harrier just barely managed to maneuver away in the strong wind. Brief contact was made but it wasn't anything serious. The attacks lasted for over 2 minutes.
This was over the Coupeville School District soccer fields.
---Steve Ellis

Above comment submitted Mar 4, 2014

 Upcoming Events 

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 Phyllis Kind (email).

North Whidbey
The trips are on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. If you wish to be notified of the events, contact Jenny Brown (email).

Saturday, March 22 and Saturday, April 5: Special Class
Oiled Birds Response Training
Join the Northwest Straits Foundation, Islands Oil Spill Association and your local Marine Resources Committee for these rare opportunities to become a trained oiled bird rescue volunteer. These trainings will give you hands-on experience handling birds so that you will be comfortable doing so in an emergency situation. Each training is in two parts, spanning two Saturdays. Two trainings will be offered in the Spring of 2014:
Coupeville: March 22, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. & April 5, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Port Angeles: April 26, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. & May 3, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

While this training is offered at no charge, pre-registration is required due to small class sizes. To register, contact Michelle Lim at the Northwest Straits Foundation, lim@nwstraits.org, 360-733-1725.

Thursday, April 10: Meeting
Steve and Martha Ellis will present. Coupeville Recreation Hall (901 NW Alexander St, Coupeville -- map). Doors open at 7 pm, meeting at 7:15, program at 7:30. Please bring a mug for coffee. Carpool

Saturday, April 12: Intermediate Birding Class
Introduction to Bird Behavior
Houston Flores, marine biologist and experienced birder, will be teaching. The class will run from 9-12 a.m. and will be followed by a field trip beginning at 1 p.m. The class will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Annex Building, on Hwy 525 in Freeland. The field trip location will be announced at the class.

Class size is limited to 20 participants with Whidbey Audubon Society members receiving priority registration. Class fee is $20.00.

Please send checks, made out to Whidbey Audubon Society, to:

Anna Swartz
5574 Chris Mar Lane
Freeland, WA 98249

Sunday, April 13: Field Trip
Bird and Marine Mammal Field Trip to Penn Cove & West Beach
Celebrate Earth and Ocean month by looking for birds such as loons, grebes and guillemots and keeping an eye out for seals and whales. We'll visit the protected waters of Penn Cove and the open seas off the west side of the island. We'll also stroll through Ft. Ebey State Park. Meet at Oak Harbor City Beach (map) at 1:00pm. Carpooling is highly encouraged and all vehicles will need the Discover Pass to visit the state park. Some walking. This is a half day trip returning to Oak Harbor by 5:00pm. Steve Ellis 678-2264

Friday & Saturday, April 18-19: Field Trip
Pelagic Birding From the Coho Ferry
On this day trip we will bird from the deck of the Port Angeles to Victoria ferry, the MV Coho, as it crosses the open water of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Who knows what we might find? The ferry leaves Port Angeles at 8:20am and leaves from Victoria at 4pm. We will leave our cars in Port Angeles and walk on. You will have a full day in Victoria to bird the parks, go to Butchart Gardens, explore museums or have high tea at the Empress. Due to the Coupeville Ferry schedule, you will be required to stay somewhere near Port Angeles on Friday night, April 18. If there is interest, we can arrange birding near Port Angeles on Friday for early arrivals. A valid passport will be required. Contact trip leader, Dave Parent (email) 360-969-3676.

Saturday, April 19: Festival
Welcome the Whales Day
Festival and parade followed by a presentation from Mike Bursk of the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA. In Langley starting at 11 am. More information.

Saturday, April 26: Field Trip
Maxwelton Outdoor Center
Janet Stein, WSU noxious weed specialist for Island County, will join us as we bird along a loop walk through the forest and by Maxwelton Creek to celebrate Earth Week. She will display some of the invasive plants that are crowding out native species on Whidbey, and talk about what we can do to control their spread. If time allows, we may visit Dave Mackie Park to see birds on the beach and offshore, and/or look over the ponds on Ewing Road for ducks and spring migrants. Maxwelton Outdoor Center (east side of Maxwelton Rd in Clinton, just north of its intersection with Sills Rd and French Rd.) 9 am. Carpools meet at 8 am at Coupeville's Prairie Station Park and Ride, 8:30 am at Trinity Lutheran Park and Ride, and 8:40 at Bayview Park and Ride. Kim Shepard 360-720-1711

Thursday, May 8: Meeting
Martha Jordan will present. Coupeville Recreation Hall (901 NW Alexander St, Coupeville -- map). Doors open at 7 pm, meeting at 7:15, program at 7:30. Please bring a mug for coffee. Carpool

Saturday, May 10: Field Trip
Earth Sanctuary
Meet at 8:00 am at Bayview Park and Ride lot (SR 525 & Bayview Rd.) to carpool to Earth Sanctuary in Freeland. We will look and listen for arriving spring migrants and our resident birds establishing nesting territories. Earth Sanctuary is a lovely area at any time of year. The trip will include walking for a couple of hours, with some hills, and possibly muddy or uneven ground. Please be prepared to pay a $7.00 entry fee. For more information on Earth Sanctuary, see http://www.earthsanctuary.org/. Trip leaders: Linda Bainbridge, 360-331-5948 (email) and Joy Johnson.

Wednesday, May 21 - Monday, May 26, 2014: Field Trip
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
Birding in southeastern Oregon -- one of America's top birding spots. Arrive Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Return Sunday or Monday, depending on your schedule. Overnight options: camping at Page Springs, a BLM camp ground near the refuge, Steens Mountain Resort (Private owned close to Page Springs), Frenchglen Hotel, or use a motel in Burns about 50 miles away. Individuals participating should make their own camping/motel reservations. No reservations are needed for the Page Springs camp ground. Reservations are needed for tent/RV camping at Steens Mountain Resort: phone 1-800-542-3765. Check the Page Springs, Malheur NWR, and Steens Mountain Resort web sites for details. Another housing option you might check is at the Malheur NWF field station. Notify Joe Sheldon if you plan to participate (email) 360-678-9060.

Saturday, June 14: Meeting
Bird in the Hand/Wildlife Exhibit
Matt Klope, Judy Feldman. Sharon Gauthier, Robin Llewellyn. Greenbank Farm. Please check back for details.

Whidbey Audubon Society
PO Box 1012
Oak Harbor,Washington 98277

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