Monday, January 16, 2012

A Trade Off....

Well, my planned trip today to Port Angeles on the Coho didn't pan out, but I still managed to add a couple of species this weekend, during a quick stop owing to a very timely post from Derrick Marven.

On my way up to Duncan where, on a non-birding note, I was privileged to witness my young nieces very first steps (!!!), I stopped in along Koksilah Road, hoping to find the Tundra Swan that had been reported there. All along Koksilah there were small groups of Trumpeter Swans, as well as a good number of curious neighbours and passersby, stopping or slowing to inquire as to my activities. Finding no small swan among them, I circled around the back end of the fields by driving down Wilmot Rd. There I found a large group of grazing waterfowl, which had been hidden from view from the other side by a hill. Among them were more Trumpeter Swans, good numbers of Canada Geese, and, after some scope searching, the Tundra Swan! I don't know if the bird had a mud-caked beak (as many of the Trumpeters did), or if it was one of the individuals that show very little to no yellow on the beak, but luckily it was standing next to a Trumpeter, allowing a nice close comparison of size and build.

While I was scanning the fields, I also heard several birds calling as they passed overhead in ones and twos, and managed to get my first visual Evening Grosbeaks of the year. Jeremy Gatten and I found a number of these in Cobble Hill on Jan 1 but they all remained out of sight in the clouds. Rules being rules, I wanted my look!

Still no Red Crossbills, but they should show themselves before too long.

The weather is also still looking good for the scheduled Westport Pelagic for Jan 28. Last year's trip got winded out and we never made the trip down. As fate would have it, a Mountain Plover showed up just across the bay near Ocean Shores that same weekend, which would have been a nice add-on to the trip. Currently there is an Emperor Goose in Ocean Shores which will make for a really good add-on, on top of the great possibles that show up offshore in winter (Laysan Albatross is my want bird!).

Stay tuned, stay birding, and stay warm!

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