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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Unusual Bird Sightings and Special Points of Interest
Post an unusual bird sighting| Get emails when sightings are posted.

The Whatcom Falls Field trip tomorrow, October 17, has been postponed due to stormy weather. Contact Susan Bennett for more information, 360-331-4779 .

Reporter's name: Joseph K. Sheldon

Sighting Description: Rough-legged Hawk flying over the prairie at Pacific Rim Institute. The bird landed in the top of a small Douglas Fir tree just north of Morris Road. This is one of the earliest fall records of the species at Pacific Rim.

Location: Pacific Rim Institute

Date and time: 14 October 2017 at 8:15 AM.

Above comment submitted Oct 14, 2017

Reporter's name: Martha Hollis

Sighting Description: Just wondering if anyone else has noticed the enormous flock of surf scoters near the mussel farm in Penn Cove. Viewable from Madrona. Must be a few thousand. Do you suppose they are here for the winter? Or going to continue south? They've been growing in number for the last several days.

Location: Penn Cove around the mussel rafts on the Madrona side

Date and time: Sunday, October 8, at 4:30 pm.

Above comment submitted Oct 8, 2017

Reporter's name: Frances Wood

Sighting Description: Black-chinned Hummingbird feeding at my hummingbird feeder. I first noticed the very short tail and small size. The bird sat still and I was able see the purple band under the chin and the clear white breast.

Location: Wilkinson Road, about half way between Langley and Clinton

Confirmation: I am familiar with this species, having seen it in California and Mexico. This was a close viewing with good lighting.

Date and time: October 5 about 5:30 pm

Above comment submitted Oct 7, 2017

Reporter's name: Jay Adams

Sighting Description: Pacific Golden Plover

Location: Seen at Crockett Lake on the flats north of the road and east of the Audubon viewing platform. First viewed this morning thanks to the help of Sarah Schmidt. The bird was feeding in association with an American Golden Plover. Seen again later by itself in the same area. Identified by primary extension (three primary tips seen beyond the tertials). Many golden highlights, especially on the back. Note: An American Golden Plover was also seen later, west of the PGPL. This bird was not as bright as the PGPL and showed four primary tips beyond the tertials). In addition, three Pectoral Sandpipers were seen when leaving the marsh in the afternoon, in the same flats but across from the pond with the pull-out.

Date and time: First sightings about 9:30 a.m.. Later sightings at about 4:00 p.m, October 6, 2017.

Above comment submitted Oct 6, 2017

Reporter's name: Darwin Wile

Sighting Description: I just witnessed a contretemps between a great horned owl and a Cooper's hawk. The latter flew into a madrona tree on the cliff between my house and Deer Lagoon. Shortly (c.15 seconds) after, a male great horned owl flew into the same tree and began hissing enthusiastically at the accipiter. The hawk hissed just as enthusiastically in return. About a half minute of this confrontation continued, and then the hawk flew away. The owl remained, and is still sitting there.

Location: Soundview Drive above Deer Lagoon

Date and time: 10-2-17; 6:30 pm

Above comment submitted Oct 2, 2017

Reporter's name: Darwin Wile

Sighting Description: red-necked phalarope

Location: deer Lagoon - fresh water side of west dike

Date and time: 10-1-17; 10:30 am

Above comment submitted Oct 1, 2017

Reporter's name: David Parent

Sighting Description: Short-eared Owl. Seems a bit early. Just passing through?

Location: Keystone Spit

Date and time: September 26, 7pm

Above comment submitted Sep 27, 2017

Reporter's name: Linda Bainbridge

Sighting Description: Saw the (or "a") Lapland Longspur at Deer Lagoon today. My first "life bird" on Whidbey Island!

Location: Deer Lagoon

Date and time: 10:30 am September 28, 2017

Above comment submitted Sep 28, 2017

Reporter's name: Gideon Seraphine

Sighting Description: Lapland Longspurs-
A small group of us led by Jay Adams went to Deer Lagoon; as we walked down the west dike, Jay scanned the trail ahead with his scope and found these two Longspurs feeding (photo attached).

Location: Deer Lagoon- west dike

Date and time: 9/26/17, around 9:30 AM

Above comment submitted Sep 27, 2017

Reporter's name: Darwin Wile

Sighting Description: Driving out East Harbor Road near Freeland (taking my doggie to the groomer), I saw a barred owl perched on a telephone pole. Coming back, about an hour later, there was a merlin sitting in the same place.

Location: East Harbor Road, Freeland

Date and time: 9-26-17; 8:20am

Above comment submitted Sep 26, 2017

Reporter's name: Carla Corin

Sighting Description: Visited Crockett Lake to look for the larks and longspurs, and found one Horned Lark along the frontage road east of the viewing platform and three Lapland Longspurs (along with a ton of Savannah Sparrows) east of the platform. As a bonus, we watched an American Pipit bathe in a puddle at the turnaround west of the platform.

Location: Crockett Lake

Date and time: 9/25, between 1:15 and 1:55

Above comment submitted Sep 25, 2017

Reporter's name: Joe Sheldon

Sighting Description: Three Horned Lark and three lapland Longspur

Location: Frontage road that parallels Rt. 20 along Crockett Lake. The Horned Lark were near the birding platform; the Lapland Longspur along the next frontage road beyond the birding platform. Photos of both have been posted.

Confirmation: Jay Adams also reported both species in the same general area

Date and time: 24 Sept. 2017 about 1 PM for Horned Larks and 1:30 PM for longspurs

Above comment submitted Sep 24, 2017

Reporter's name: Darwin Wile

Sighting Description: George's 3 Lapland longspurs are still foraging on the lower trail of the west dike of Deer Lagoon.

No pelicans today.

Location: Deer Lagoon

Date and time: 9-24-17, 11:00am

Above comment submitted Sep 24, 2017

Reporter's name: Jay Adams

Sighting Description: Lapland Longspur

Location: One bird seen on the road that runs west (toward the ferry dock) from the Audubon viewing platform. The bird was feeding by the side of the road with Savannah Sparrows. Also present along the way were three Western Meadowlarks, nine American Pipits, and a single Horned Lark.

Date and time: September 24, 2017, at about 7:50.

Above comment submitted Sep 24, 2017

Reporter's name: Jay Adams

Sighting Description: Horned Lark

Location: A single bird seen on the road running east from the Audubon viewing platform. Extremely pale all over. Pale gray-brown above. White face. White below. Just a hint of partial black mask. Faint pale gray streaks in place of the often-present black breastband.

Date and time: September 23, 2017 at 7:45 a.m.

Above comment submitted Sep 23, 2017

Reporter's name: Jay Adams

Sighting Description: American Golden Plover

Location: One juvenile with three juvenile Black-bellied Plovers in the flats across the road from the Audubon viewing platform, Crockett Lake, Coupeville

Date and time: September 23, 2017 at about 11:00 a.m.

Above comment submitted Sep 23, 2017

Reporter's name: Jay Adams

Sighting Description: Pectoral Sandpiper

Location: Four birds seen on the flats slightly north and west of the Audubon viewing platform at Crockett Lake, Coupeville.

Date and time: September 23, 2017 at about 11:15 a.m.

Above comment submitted Sep 23, 2017

Reporter's name: George Heleker

Sighting Description: Two Lapland Larkspur flew onto the dike and started feeding. They were on the west dike about 2/3 of the way down, about where Darwin Wile and his son found one around this time last year, if I recall correctly.
I took a few mediocre photos, (see eBird for photos) then approached closer as they seemed fairly "tame", but then a Harrier suddenly appeared and the longspurs flew.

Location: Deer Lagoon

Date and time: 9/22/17- 2:17 pm

Above comment submitted Sep 22, 2017

Reporter's name: Traci York

Sighting Description: First, first winter Golden-Crowned Sparrows x2 in the yard and cedars! Their one of the few birds I can hear calling inside the house with their beautiful songs early in the morning. I'm on the lookout for adults, but haven't seen any yet.

Location: NW Broadway St. Coupeville

Date and time: Sept 20, 7 am

Above comment submitted Sep 21, 2017

Reporter's name: Robin Gardner

Sighting Description: For the past week I have seen small flocks of Band-Tailed Pigeons at my feeding station in my back yard. I didn't think anything of it but the Birds of Whidbey checklist shows it as "uncommon". Picture in photobucket.

Location: Race Lagoon - Coupeville

Date and time: 9/17/17 and 9/19/17 at 4 pm

Above comment submitted Sep 19, 2017

Reporter's name: Steve Ellis

Sighting Description: 1st Golden-crowned Sparrow and Varied Thrush of the season.

Location: Sparrow- Coupeville H/S, thrush our yard in Coupeville

Date and time: sparrow- 9/14; thrush- 9/16 about 7:00am

Above comment submitted Sep 17, 2017

Reporter's name: Darwin Wile

Sighting Description: Possible African collared-dove. Came to my feeder with Eurasian collared-doves; noticeably smaller, white undertail coverts, has collar, very pale, very light primaries. Will try to get photo if bird returns.

Location: back yard on bluff above Deer Lagoon

Date and time: 9/17/17; 3:30pm

Above comment submitted Sep 17, 2017

Reporter's name: Jay Adams

Sighting Description: Horned Lark

Location: Two or three yesterday, one today on the dry flats at the east end of Crockett Lake, essentially across from the viewing platform.

Date and time: September 14 and 15, 2017, at about 9:30 each day.

Above comment submitted Sep 15, 2017

 Upcoming Events 

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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 Bowers (email).

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

Saturday, October 14: Litter pickup
We'll be picking up litter on our chapter's two-mile section of West Beach Road. Meet in the parking area at Hastie Lake Boat Launch at 1 p.m. We'll have trash bags and safety gear to wear. Dress for the weather. We are committed to the litter pick up three times a year. This is a good outreach into the community for Whidbey Audubon Society and we need your help. - Steve Ellis, 360-678-2264

Tuesday, October 17: Field Trip
CANCELLEDJoin us for a trip to Whatcom Falls Park, #58 on the North Cascade Bird Trail map. To carpool, meet at Trinity Lutheran Church Park and Ride in Freeland at 7:30 a.m. or at 8:15 a.m. at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor. Bring a lunch. Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham has easy trails with some steps between trails. We will see forest birds, hopefully Dippers, Waders, ducks, and waterfalls. No dogs, please. Call Susan Bennett at 360-331-4779 to register. There is no limit to participants for this trip.

Saturday, October 28: Field Trip
Let's welcome back our winter migrants to Deer Lagoon and enjoy a morning of local birding. Meet at the Bayview Park & Ride at 8:30 a.m. to carpool. Bring your binocs and scopes and lets see who has returned. Contact Ann Casey (email).

Thursday, November 9: Meeting
Smith and Minor Island Aquatic Reserve
Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 20103 State Route 525, Freeland: doors open at 7 p.m., meeting at 7:15, program at 7:30.

Saturday, November 11: Field Trip
View wintering loons, grebes and other water birds that are attracted to the most diverse kelp beds in Greater Puget Sound. We'll also visit nearby Fort Ebey State Park to look for forest species. Meet at Point Partridge (end of Libbey Road) at 9 a.m. for this half-day trip. All vehicles entering the state park will need a Discover Pass. Plan to do some walking. Trip leader is Steve Ellis, 360-678-2264

Whidbey Audubon Society
PO Box 1012
Oak Harbor,Washington 98277

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Deer Lagoon Lapland Longspurs 9/24/17

Lapland Longspur - Crockett Lake 9.24.2017

Horned Lark - Crockett Lake 9.24.2017