Birding Log - Mar 11, 2013

This was our first day identifying six new species. At Fir Island, just west of Conway, WA, we found hundreds of Snow Geese, a new species for us. There were probably 500 feeding in a field quite close to the road, unafraid of our presence. In the same area we spotted over a thousand Mallards and swans. We assumed these were Trumpeter Swans, but there might have been Tundra Swans in the mix.


East of Anacortes, WA on March Point Road in Padilla Bay, we found hundreds of Northern Pintails, also a new species.


Although the Pintails were the predominant species, there were some Wigeons, Mallards, and a few Green-winged Teals, another new species. In this photo, one of the female Green-winged Teals is visible near the center bottom with a male ahead of her about half way to the edge of the photo. They were all busy feeding and preening as the tide was coming in over the flats.


Two male Green-winged Teals can be seen at the bottom of this photo.


Driving around the north end of March Point, I spotted this loon. He was mostly underwater, so we had to be quick to catch this photo. I had originally identified this as a Pacific Loon, but I was later informed that it was a Common Loon "coming into breeding plumage." The more angular shape of the head and its prominent bill, are two identifying features.


Annamarie spotted another new species for the day, a Belted Kingfisher. We observed him diving from his perch to the water and back up again.


Early that morning before the ferry pulled out of the Kingston Terminal, Al took this photo through one of the ferry port lights. We weren't able to identify it as a Pigeon Guillemot until later. It was the first of the six new species for the day.


These Surf Scoters were much closer to the ferry.


A Double-crested Cormorant, drying his wings.


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