In 2017 My goal is to spend at least 1 day birding in each of the 39 Washington State Counties. Last year my goal was to reach a 700 ABA life list, and I managed that with room to spare. Planning to stay mostly closer to home this year and explore Washington State. I’ll try to keep this up to date.
1. Pierce: Jan 1 out locally. This is my home county so a given.
2. Kitsap: Did the Vaschon CBC with Ken, covering the Kitsap County area, had a great day, cold but fair weather, 56 species this date.
3. Douglas: On Ken’s ABC trip ‘freezathon” we spent most of the day on the Waterville Plateau. Highlights were many thousands of Horned Larks, with Lapland Longspurs and Snow Buntings mixed in small numbers. Also had Gray Partridge. 39 species this date, but returned on the trip home for a few more hours, and up to 42 species by the end of the trip.
4. Okanogan: Ended Jan 14th down low near the river and on Jan 15th spent the day in the Okanogan highlands on the same trip. Incredibly non-birdy all day. Missed many target species, but had a list of 38 species by the end of the trip including Chukar, Golden Eagle, Ruffed Grouse, Gray Jay and Clark’s Nutcracker.
5. Skagit: Jan 23 spent a great day chasing a Yellow-billed loon at Rosario Head with Ken and Bruce. Great looks at that plus Rock Sandpiper. Also birded the Sammish Flats and nearby places. 74 species for the day.
6. King: Jan 31 Kay and I spent a few hours at the Kent Ponds area chasing a Red-shouldered hawk, but no luck. Total species 28.
7. Gray’s Harbor: Feb 4 Ken and I planned to do the winter pelagic on Westbport Seabirds but after showing up high seas caused the trip to be cancelled. We birded locally, starting in Pacific County, but spent most of the day in Grays Harbor County. 52 species for the day.
8. Cowlitz: Feb 11th Bruce and I headed south to Woodland Bottoms where we saw Sandhill Cranes. I returned for a full day the next week. Between the trips 51 Species.
9. Clark: After Woodland Bottoms Bruce and I continued to Ridgefield “S” Loop Drive and saw Red-shouldered hawk, White-breasted nuthatch and Rough-legged and Harlan’s Red-tailed hawks. I returned for a full day the next week. Between the trips 53 species.
10. Wahkiakum: Feb 15 on day 2 of a 3 -day-3 county trip with Dan and Patti Anderson we birded Julia Butler Hansen NWR and Puget Island where we saw Black phoebe, Red-shouldered Hawk, Wilson’s snipe, and it rained really hard. 53 Species in Wahkiakum County, and the first trip to this county since I’ve been eBirding.
11. Island: Kay and I spent good parts of 3 days, Feb 27-28 and March 1 birding Whidby Island and saw 75 species. All new eBird species for me as I had not birded Island county since starting eBird data entry around 2012.
12. Mason: March 9th Ken and I birded Mason county along with Sophie. We included Belfair State Park, a few small lakes, and the road behind the Theler Wetlands. 57 species for the day in Mason County. On 3-19 Ken, Rachel, Kay and I birded and walked at Theler Wetlands.
13. Jefferson: March 14th I got out with Ken and birded Jefferson County along with Sophie, including Ft. Flagler, and nearby areas. 76 species for the day in Jefferson.
14. Lewis: Ken and I birded Lewis County on 3-27 visiting Goodrich Road, then spots off Hwy 12 east of I-5. Highlights were a Loggerhead Shrike, Say’s Phoebes, a Trumpeter Swan, and lots of waterfowl.
15. Yakima: Ken and I birded Yakima County on 6-3 going out through Ashford to Packwood, then over White Pass on Hwy 12 with stops at Bethyl Ridge, Bear Canyon, Oak Creek, and places on the way to Wenas. Highlights were Western Screech Owl at Wenas, and good birds at nearly every stop.
16 & 17 Adams & Grant: The next two days we birded Adams and Grant Counties. Highlights were shorebirds at the County Line Ponds, a Long-billed curlew and Burrowing Owls.