Stu and Patsy Stevens Photo

 

Recent Sightings

2005

David Ridgway saw a Turkey Vulture on February 10th in Eastsound just west of the Post Office. A very early sighting.

2004

W. Breck Tyler saw a Thick-billed Murre south of Lime Kiln, San Juan Island on the afternoon of October 20th.

Stu and Patsy Stevens saw a Clark's Nutcracker on there property at Point Laurence on Orcas in September. It stayed in the area for 3 days.

Barbara  Rossenkotter saw 6 Yellow-rumped Warblers, Myrtle species on her deck at Deer Harbor on Orcas on the 27th of April in the morning. They were likely late wintrer residents or migrants.

Jackie Wolf saw here first Hummingbird of the year at her home on Lopez Island on March 7 at 5:30 in the afternoon.

2003

There have been several sightings of a flock of five Snow Buntings on Pickett's Lane at American Camp on San Juan Island between October 30 - November 1, 2003. They foraged beside the road.

Bob Myhr reports several recent raptor sightings for October 2003 on Lopez. In the first week of the month, scores of Turkey Vultures floated southward over Lopez to cross Juan de Fuca strait. On the October 25 field trip held in conjunction with the Skagit Audubon Society on Lopez, the 38(!) participants saw Bald Eagles, Northern Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, and Sharp-shinned Hawk. Three days later Bob saw that the Golden Eagle is back at its familiar tree at the intersection of Richardson and Mud Bay roads. He also saw a Merlin in Lopez Village.

Mary Blackstone saw an immature Golden Eagle at her property on Plum Tree Lane in Eastsound September 29th.

Jackie Wolf saw a Great Gray Owl near her home at Jasper Cove on Lopez on Sept. 9th and 26th. She has been hearing it call regularly. This is a very rare bird for the San Juans.

Mike O'Connell saw a Great Horned Owl at the 'Long Live the Kings' fish hatchery on Orcas Island. Cathy Wilson saw a red-breasted sapsucker on her property at Hughes Bay on September 23rd.

Mary Blackstone saw an American Bittern at the edge of a pond near her house in August.

Steve Gropp has consistently been seeing a Western Tananger at his home on Mt. Woolard, Orcas Island this summer. He had an Olive-sided Flycatcher build a nest and raise young on a ladder beside his shop as well.

Walter MacGinitie saw a male Bullock's Oriole in his yard at Hannah Heights on the West Side of San Juan Island; his first there in 20 years.

Liz and Ron Keeshan saw an early Whimbrel on South Beach, San Juan Island the morning of June 23rd.

Jackie Wolf saw an adult male Yellow-headed Blackbird Sunday May 25, in the salt marsh very near the spit at the entrance to Fisherman Bay on Lopez. She got quite close and watched him through binoculars for a long time.

Bob Myhr has been seeing Erasian Wigeon at the ferry dock in Anacortes this winter near the old cannery pilings and at the wetlands to the west of the parking lot.

Betty Bartleson had her Hummingbird feeders ready for their annual March7-8th arrival at her house in Olga on Orcas. The first Rufous Hummingbird of the season arrived like clock work on the 8th.

David Castor saw a Merlin and a Peregrine Falcon flying parallel to each other new North Beach on Orcas. He also mentioned that a colleague had seen a Gyrfalcon on Susia above a raft of ducks.

2002

Mike O'Connell saw 2 mature Trumpeter Swans with 4 juveniles at the Glenwood Springs Hatchery (large pond) on the Youngren property in Eastsound on Orcas. He has been seeing an American Dipper at the small pond next to the Hatchery regularly too as well as a Pileated Woodpecker, Mallards, Wigeon, Buffleheads, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagles, Kingfishers, Northern Flickers, etc.

David and Ginger Ridgway saw a Dipper at Cascade Lake on Orcas near the swimming area. (Their first one on Orcas). It was fishing in the shallow water and caught 2 minnows.

The first Trumpeter Swans of the season for Ginger and David Ridgway were seen at Cascade Lake on Orcas on November 1st at the boat launch off the Olga Road. 2 adults and 4 juveniles.

Mary Blackstone saw a White-throated Sparrow at her house in Crow Valley on Orcas in early October; she also has been seeing migrating Northern Harriers there too.

David Ridgway say a Northern Harrier (female or immature) at flying across Mt. Baker Road in Eastsound at the airport on Orcas on October 2nd. He saw his first Northern Harrier on Orcas Island, September 17th in Crow Valley across from the golf course on the Coffelt's property.

Susan Vernon and Lou Falb saw a Bluebird (they be lived it to be a female Mountain bluebird) on the summit of Mt. Constitution, Orcas June 20th. It was perched on a snag visible from the stone wall at the Northeast end. This is a rare sighting for Orcas and the San Juans.

Gayle Benton saw 9 Northern Shovelers off Crescent Beach in Eastsound on May 9th; an unusual sighting for her and late in the season. She also reports that the wildflowers are late in the Cascades and therefore so are the butterflies. On Gayle's Cascade trip she also saw and heard several Snipe that were very raucous, sitting on top of fence posts advertising for mates. The picture above was taken at the Ellensburg airport.

Jay and Gale Lynch have reported that Whiskey Hill on Lopez has a resident Merlin. It has been seen on several occasions. One afternoon they saw a blue-gray streak rocketing past the windows. Peering over the deck railing they saw that the Merlin had captured a Varied Thrush. The thrush (nearly as big as a Merlin) was still struggling so the Merlin sat on the thrush for several minutes (catching its breath?) Then it flew off with its lunch. Another day the Merlin sat on their deck for ten minutes or more. Time enough to get the binoculars for a really close look. It then flew up and sat on the railing next the bird seed holder. All the little birds had disappeared but it gave a whole new meaning to the term ‘bird feeder’. The Merlin flies through their yard now and then but, so far, as not returned for another long visit.

Ginger Ridgway heard a distinctive bird call near the airport in Eastsound at dusk on the 10th of May. She imitated the call for Lou Falb and Barb Jensen and they both confirm it as a Common Snipe.

Liz and Ron Keeshan Saw 10 Balck-bellied Plovers at American Camp April 24th at 7:45AM. They were in all stages of alternate plumage. They also have had Red Crossbills at their feeders.

Diane Robertson and Jeanne Marks saw a single mute Swam on Davis Bay, Lopez on Thursday the 18th. Let's hope that another doesn't show.

Kay Gagnon saw a Cinnamon Teal at Port Stanley Lagoon on Lopez Tuesday April 9th at 10:30AM and again Thursday at Swift's Bay Lagoon on Lopez. She has not seen one on Lopez before.

Gayle Benton saw a raft of about 75 Golden-eye in Eastsound on March 26th in the water in front of the Episcopal Church and Waterfront Park. They were mostly Common Golden-eye with a few Barrrow's. The group was still there the 28th.

Barbara Rosenkotter has been having a busy birding week (March 24th..) at her house in Deer Harbor near Richardson Marsh. Her first ever White-crowned Sparrows arrived this week. A Bald Eagle and a Red-tailed Hawk use the same snag at different times. Cooper's Hawk, Varied Thrush, Hairy Woodpecker, Towhees (5 at a time) and Rufous Hummingbirds are some of the other species she is seeing.

The wetlands off Swan Road on Orcas continue to be a great place to view birds. On March 24th, Ginger and David Ridgway saw 25 Pintails, 6 Greenwing Teal and a flock of Wigeon with the resident Eurasian Wigeon still accompanying. Turkey Vultures and Violet-green Swallows flew nearby.

Jerry Kasparek reported his first Rufous Hummingbird on March 11th. His Red Flowering Current is not even in bloom yet!

Ginger Ridgway spotted a mature Golden Eagle while on the inter-island ferry at the Shaw Island dock on Saturday March 9th. It stayed perched in the large snag to the left of the marina and was viewed by several others.

Katherine Mottola has had a Steller's Jay at her feeder regularly since September of 2001. She lives close to Lopez village. Are they finally residing on Lopez and San Juan or is this just a loner?

Bob Myhr and Cass Dahlstrom saw a pair of Golden Eagles at Center and Mud Bay Roads copulating in a large fir tree the weekend of February 23rd.They still don't know where the nest is. The pair is often at the intersection to the east of Center Road and just north of Mud Bay Road. They also saw an American Kestral, a bit a of a rarity of late on Lopez.

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