Trip Reports

March 19, 2017 Spring Birding Trip with Pam Pritzl and Roxie Rochat

After several days of storms, we hit a day of perfect spring weather for our spring birding trip this year.  Thirteen of us admired an eagle guarding its nest at English Boom, tried for turkeys on Hanstad Road without success, and then ventured to Eide Road, where we were treated to wonderful scope views of Rough-legged Hawks, Short-eared Owls, Northern Harriers, and marvelous closeups of a Bewick's Wren, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Fox Sparrow, and others.  Here's the collected group list:

Canada Goose, Trumpeter Swan, Snow Goose, Northern Pintail, Bufflehead, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Ring-necked Pheasant, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier (male, female), Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk (at least 2), American Kestrel, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Glaucous-winged Gull, Short-eared Owl (at least 1), Tree Swallow, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Bewick’s Wren, American Robin, European Starling, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Savannah Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Finch sp.


Sat. Nov 22, 2014 Broyophyte, Lichen, Fungi Field trip at Four Springs

Twenty-six people turned out to enjoy the sunshine this afternoon and to admire mosses, lichens, and fungi at Four Springs.  You can download a list Bryophytes, Lichens, and Fungi that Russ Holmes has seen recently at Four Springs by clicking on the link to the pdf file at the bottom of this page.  The page numbers are from "Plants Of The Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska" by Jim Pojar.

If you'd like to look for these but are new to Four Springs, note that there is a link to their trail map at the bottom of the main Four Springs page.


Mar 25, 2011 Spring Birding Trip with Pam Pritzl and Roxie Rochat

A record 29 people turned out to enjoy the warm spring sunshine and bird Eide (south of the Camano bridge) and Thomle (south of Stanwood) Roads.  Unfortunately, the Short-eared Owls and Snowy Owls did not cooperate, but if you're out in the next few weeks, sometimes they're easier to spot later in the day along Thomle or Bow Roads south of Stanwood.  They should soon be departing for their northern breeding grounds but you can check for updates on the  Tweeters Listserv. 

Hghlights included Dunlin off of Eide Road and thousands of Snow Geese just across Thomle road.  They totally ignored us, but a young Bald Eagle spooked them several times.  We enjoyed watching Northern Harriers hunt low over fields and got views of Rough-legged Hawks.  The trip concluded with the resident Black-crowned Night-Herons at Josephine's and Wild Turkeys along Hanstad Road.  Here's the trip list:

Trumpeter Swan, Snow Goose, Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Wild Turkey, Greater Yellowlegs, Dunlin, Glaucous-winged Gull, Rock Pigeon, American Robin, Black-capped Chickadee, House Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird

Beginning birders and friends are always welcome on Skagit Audubon and Pilchuck Audubon field trips.


BWH Making a Difference at Information Booths

Val Shroeder and other BWH stewards staff information booths at many community events, including the March 18th "Discover Cama Beach" event.  Here's a response from Tina Dinzl-Pederson:

Thanks from the Cama Beach “family” for your participation at Discover Cama Beach! There were between 300-350 people in attendance on Sunday and they had a wonderful time thanks to your contributions of time and talent. Here is a quote from one of the quilters that captures what you do for us here, both the visitors (and us as well) “I thought yesterday was so much fun, and the young sewers were delightful. The mothers of the sewers expressed heartfelt appreciation for what we were doing.”

Your support is recognized at a statewide level as well, the director Don Hock included this in his Happy 99th Birthday message that went out to all staff, “We are moving ahead to celebrate our Centennial year by making the most of various parks events, including interpretive, recreational and community events and one or two other high-profile events during the year. You saw last week in Connections that two parks – Cama Beach and Riverside – have events that package the Centennial with the Discover Pass.”


You each brought something special that visitors enjoy at our park and it is your spark and leadership that make it happen. You make a positive difference in “our” world and you are much appreciated for it!


Thank you,


Tina on behalf of the Cama Beach and Camano Island State Park staff


Oct 23, 2011 Fall Birding Trip with Pam Pritzl and Roxie Rochat

Unlike the fierce storm for our April trip, we enjoyed calm winds and magnificent fall weather for our fall birding adventure. Harbor seals basked on the sand bar at English Boom and a Peregrine Falcon posed on a snag so all eleven participants could get long looks through the scopes.  We enjoyed "water dances" of grebes and "braces" of Surf Scoters (according to whatbird.com) along Skagit Bay at Utsalady and Maple Grove boat ramp parks.  Two small football-shaped Marbled Murrelets provided a lot of excitement at Maple Grove.  Passerines were quite active at Iverson park, where we especially enjoyed an "ear-full" or a "museum" of Cedar Waxwings, and a "reign" of Golden-crowned Sparrows.  Birds that were heard or seen include:

Red-necked Grebe, Horned Grebe, Western Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Canada Goose, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Surf Scoter, Common Merganser, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Killdeer, Glaucous-winged Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, Common Loon, Rock Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, American Crow, Common Raven, Cedar Waxwing, American Robin, Bewick's Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-capped Chickadee, House Sparrow, House Finch, Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Spotted Towhee, Brewer's Blackbird (at the airport).

Roxie went back to Iverson in the afternoon to work out a few mystery birds and decided the black and white flying ducks were Long-tailed Ducks.  A Red-throated Loon, Purple Finch, White-crowned Sparrows, and a Marsh Wren were additional sightings there.   Although the Wild Turkeys did not cooperate during the morning trip, 10 were strung out across Hanstad Road and 6 more were in the grove of trees near highway 532 around 5:20 pm.


How to Build a Rain Barrel by Scott Chase, BWH program Wed., June 16, 2010

Here are the YouTube videos of Scott Chase's presentation on building your own rain barrel.  Parts for the Skagit PUD's rain barrel instructions can be purchased at the Country Store or Ace Hardware on Riverside in Mt. Vernon.

April 25, 2010 Spring Birding Tour with Pam Pritzl and Roxie Rochat

Twenty-two birders turned out to greet our resident breeders and latest spring migrants including the Purple Martins at English Boom who apparently arrived just the night before.  Highlights of our visits to English Boom and Iverson Beach Preserve included a Killdeer defending its territory, two Eagle nests, displaying Wild Turkeys, aerial acrobatics by a Cooper's Hawk, a large flock of Western Sandpipers and Dunlin, up-close-and-personal Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers in their finest breeding plumage, five species of sparrows including a Savannah that posed especially nicely, magnificently brilliant yellow American Goldfinches, and both male and female Red-winged Blackbirds.  The female Red-winged Blackbird often poses an id challenge because it looks more like a large striped sparrow than its male counterpart, but this one gave us a great opportunity to study its distinctly un-sparrow-like bill.  Birds that were heard or seen include:

Mallard, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, Scaup species (probably Greater), Bufflehead, Wild Turkey, Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Western Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, Cooper’s Hawk, Killdeer, Western Sandpiper, Dunlin, Glaucous-winged Gull, Mourning Dove, Rufous Hummingbird, American Crow, Purple Martin, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch (heard only), Bewick’s Wren (heard only), Winter Wren (heard only), American Robin, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, House Finch, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch


Oct 31, 2009 Backyard Habitat Field Trip led by Pam Pritzl

Nine birders (including two who drove up from Seattle) joined Pam on a tour of the wetlands under the Mark Clark bridge, English Boom Historical Park shoreline, and Iverson Beach Preserve.  The forecasted high winds didn't materialize and the rain held off until the end of the trip, so we had perfect birding weather.  We were treated to a group of chattering Long-billed Dowitchers, Wild Turkeys along Hanstad Rd, flocks of Snow Geese, a Virginia Rail, and a nice variety of woodland birds.  Here is the list:

Horned Grebe, Western Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Snow Goose, Mallard, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Wild Turkey, Virginia Rail (heard), Dunlin, Long-billed Dowitcher, Ring-billed Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Mourning Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, American Crow, Chestnut-backed Chickadee (heard), Golden-crowned Kinglet (heard), American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco (heard), Brewer’s Blackbird, Purple Finch, House Finch
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Roxie Rochat,
Nov 22, 2014, 8:18 PM
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