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Monday, January 24, 2011

And #100 is...

...the common raven (100)! I spotted a raven from I5 while driving north yesterday, thus reaching my goal of 100 year birds in the month of January. 

I built some time into my schedule to bird Fir Island in Skagit County on the way to the ferry landing in Anacortes, and while the snow geese were somewhat surprisingly absent, I did find lots of trumpeter swans (101). It's interesting to me that in Portland we see mostly tundra swans, in Skagit they see most trumpeter swans, and on San Juan Island we see exclusively trumpeter swans.

I went to the end of Rawlins Road where I have seen short-eared owls before. The owls weren't around yesterday, but the trip was still well worth it in the form of a northern shrike (102). The rest of Fir Island was pretty quiet, aside from a lot of great blue herons, a few northern harriers, and many bald eagles, including this sub-adult:

I planned the day to make sure I would be taking the ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor in the daylight so I could bird along the way. I expected to pick up a couple of species for the year list, but ended up doing even better than hoped for by adding five:

103. Pelagic cormorant
104. Rhinoceros auklet
105. Common murre
106. Pigeon guillemot
107. Barrow's goldeneye - the first time I've seen this species in San Juan County!

That puts me just ahead of my fellow year bird listers, as my dad is at 101 and Dave is at 96. There are a few other species I expect to be able to pick up on my first couple birding excursions back here on the island, but after that I think things will plateau pretty quickly until the spring migration. I've really benefited from all the traveling this month, as I'm now 20 species head of last year's January total!

Next up, we'll see what I turn up with some island birding, as I suspect I'll need to pad my lead as much as possible now that I'm island-bound!


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Looks like we both got Common Murre = Guillemot on the same day - how cool is that?



Warren Baker said...

107 already Monika, exellent stuff :-)

I wont get 100 till much later in the yaer, ( I hope!) I am patch bound though :-)

Enjoy the Birds!!

The K said...

Congrats on beating me to #100. Nicely done. I'll do my best to keep up with you in the coming weeks.

Monika said...

Dave - That's very cool! I bet that won't happen very often.

Warren - I'm still impressed by the numbers you put up on your patch. My "yard" here on the houseboat is finally closing in on about 30 species after several years of effort!

The K - What did I beat you by, an hour? :)