Notes from the Field (Fall 2006):

Date: December 30, 2006
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Dianna Moore

Comments: : The last survey of 2006, this was one of the best of the year.

Miller's Obiter Dictum


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle Northern Harrier
4
(2 adults; 2 juveniles)
6
(2 adults; 4 immature)
2


Raptors Banded:
Species Color Band Code
Peregrine Falcon V/R


Marked Individuals Observed
Species Color Band Code
Peregrine Falcon X/Y
Peregrine Falcon R/4



banded Peregrine falcon being held
V/R, a first year female peregrine captured and banded today.


banded Peregrine falcon standing on sand in litter of bird feathers
Peregrine X/Y feeding on a shorebird. X/Y is a 4-year old male that we banded at one year of age in May of 2003 on the Ocean Shores beach. It was very exciting to see him today, as we had not seen him since.


Adult bald eagle perched on driftwood
Adult Bald Eagle.


Peregrine falcon perched on driftwood with Mount Rainier brightly lit in the background
Adult peregrine with Mt. Rainier in the background, 105 miles away. The photo was taken using a spotting scope, making the mountain appear closer than it actually is. A few minutes after this photo was taken, she flew to the other side of the peninsula where we later saw her bathing.



Date: December 26, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Patrick, Jan and Michael Hearing

Comments: : Two of the three peregrines we saw this morning were banded. While we were unable to read the code on one of the bands, the other was identified as M/K, a 4-year old female banded at Ocean Shores in April of 2003. She's been re-sighted five times since she was banded. All of the re-sightings have been at Ocean Shores, and one was made one year ago today.

Miller's Obiter Dictum


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Merlin Northern Harrier
3
(2 adults; 1 juvenile)
1 2


Marked Individuals Observed
Species Color Band Code
Peregrine Falcon M/K




Date: December 22, 2006
Beach: Grayland
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Suzanne Tomlinson, Dianna Moore

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
1 (adult)



Waves crashing on the shore
The surf this morning.



Date: December 9, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Suzanne Tomlinson, Dianna Moore, and John Jamieson

Comments: : We saw W/M in the same location we observed her during the December 6 survey.

Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon
1 (adult)



Date: December 6, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dianna Moore, Ross Jones, Johnathon Boswell

Comments: : We recaptured peregrine W/M to obtain blood and feather samples; this is something we try to do once each year for every peregrine banded. W/M was captured and banded at Ocean Shores two years ago today: Dec. 6, 2004. She was less than one year old at the time. Today's re-sighting marks the 17th since she was banded. Blood and feather samples were also taken on November 9, 2005. All re-sightings have been at Ocean Shores.

Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Northern Harrier
(1 adult) 2


Marked Individuals Observed
Species Color Band Code
Peregrine Falcon W/M



Peregrine falcon being held and looking over it's shoulder/wings back at camera
W/M


Pergegrine falcon with wing being stretched out for viewing
W/M



Date: November 26, 2006
Beach: Grayland
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Dianna Moore, Suzanne Tomlinson

Comments: : No raptors were observed, despite weather conditions being less severe than we have observed on many of the surveys this fall. We had moderate to heavy rainfall with wind speeds 3-11 mph.


Date: November 25, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan, Charlie, and Cathy Varland and Dan Miller

Comments: : In addition to W/X, we saw lots of bull kelp washed up on the beach this morning.
Miller's Obiter Dictum

Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon
1
(1 adult)


Marked Individuals Observed
Species Color Band Code
Peregrine Falcon W/X



Peregrine falcon perched on driftwood
W/X at Ocean Shores.


Bull Kelp
Bull Kelp.



Date: November 12, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Tracy Fleming, Wayne and Alora Nelson, Dianna Moore, Dave Murnen

Comments: : More wind and rain on this survey. We saw a banded peregrine, but were unable to read the alphanumeric code due to poor light conditions and strong winds shaking the spotting scope.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
2 (adults) 1 (adult)



Date: November 11, 2006
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Tracy Fleming, Wayne and Alora Nelson

Comments: : The weather was good, with the exception of 15 minutes or so when a storm cell packing strong winds and heavy rain passed across the north end of the peninsula.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
2 (adults) 2 (adults)


Marked Individuals Observed
Species Color Band Code
Peregrine Falcon V/V



Peregrine V/V near the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula.
Peregrine V/V near the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula.
She stayed on the beach during the storm cell's passage.


Wayne and Alora Nelson with storm cell in the background.
Wayne and Alora Nelson with storm cell in the background.



Date: November 5, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Dan Miller, Dianna Moore

Comments: : We saw one each of the four species that over the years have comprised 95% of all of the raptor observations made during the coastal raptor surveys.
Miller's Obiter Dictum

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Northern Harrier Peregrine Falcon Merlin
1 (adult) 1 1 (juvenile) 1



Date: October 29, 2006
Beach: Grayland
Observers: Dan Varland, Rick Johns, and Helle Andersen.

Comments: : Yesterday's survey was canceled due to fog. We had no fog today, but winds were high, ranging from 15-20 mph.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
1
(1 adult)


Windswept Midway Beach on the Grayland study area.
Windswept Midway Beach on the Grayland study area.


Rick Johns gets wind speed, 19.9 mph, while Helle Andersen looks on.
Rick Johns gets wind speed, 19.9 mph, while Helle Andersen looks on.



Date: October 27, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dianna Moore, Jim Schmidt, and Gretchen Blatz

Comments: : Another morning with patchy fog on the beach.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
3
(2 immature, 1 adult)



Date: October 22, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Suzanne Tomlinson, Dan Miller

Comments: : While we saw three raptors, the most interesting observation we had this morning was the camp at the north end of the study area.
Miller's Obiter Dictum

Raptor count:
Northern Harrier Peregrine Falcon
2 1 (immature)

Washington State Parks confers with campers on the beach just south of the Copalis River. State Parks has does not permit beach camping.
Washington State Parks confers with campers on the beach just south of the Copalis River.
State Parks has does not permit beach camping.


Date: October 21, 2006
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Dianna Moore, Tom and Scott Rowley

Comments: : We captured and banded a 1-year old Peregrine Falcon, applying color band W/3. We saw a Merlin feeding on a Red Crossbill.

Raptor count:
Northern Harrier Peregrine Falcon Merlin Bald Eagle
2 1 1 1 (adult)

W/3
W/3

W/3
W/3


Merlin feeding on a Red Crossbill, which was identified from prey remains.
Merlin feeding on a Red Crossbill, which was identified from prey remains.



Date: October 19, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan and Charlie Varland, Suzanne Tomlinson

Comments: : It was a foggy morning at Ocean Shores. Lucky for us visibility was adequate for surveying.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Northern Harrier
2 (adults) 1

The view looking north.
The view looking north.



Date: September 22, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, and Jody, Clinton and Ethan Dauron

Comments: : Lots of fog on the beach this morning, and not too many people or raptors. There must be a correlation!

Raptor count:
Northern Harrier Merlin
1 1

The view north from the mouth of the Copalis River, with Copalis Rocks.
The view north from the mouth of the Copalis River, with Copalis Rocks.

Jody Dauron on the survey this morning with sons Clinton (left) and Ethan.
Jody Dauron on the survey this morning with sons Clinton (left) and Ethan.



Date: September 10, 2006
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Anita Thompson

Comments: While raptors were scarce, there were hundreds of seals hauled out on the sand island north of Leadbetter Point. Thick fog caused us to leave the survey route early on the run south - we exited at the Ocean Park beach access.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
1 (adult) 1 (immature)



Hundreds of seals hauled out on the sand
Harbor Seals north of Leadbetter Point.


Date: September 9, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Dianna Moore

Comments: We found a dead Sea Otter about ½-mile north of the Damon Road beach access. We reported the location to a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife crew doing razor clam research, who said they would remove it for necropsy.

Raptor count:
Northern Harrier
1



Dead Sea Otter on sand
Dead Sea Otter.