Notes from the Field (Spring/Summer 2006):

Date: July 29, 2006
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Eric Bindseil

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Osprey
1 (adult) 1



Date: July 21, 2006
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Gary Roloff, John Longcore, Cori Hutchison

Raptor count: no raptors observed!



Date: June 11, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Mary Kay Kenney, Dianna Moore, Dan Miller

Comments: Very foggy, resulting in poor visibility.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
4
(3 immature, 1 adult)




Date: May 27, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Mary Kay Kenney, Dan Miller, Dave Murnen

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
5
(4 immature, 1 adult)




Date: May 20, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Suzanne Tomlinson, Mark Schult, Matthew Schult

Comments: A number of bald eagles were observed, but other raptors failed to show. Stout-hearted fishermen were observed wading out into a rather vigorous surf.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
4
(3 immature, 1 adult)

No Marked Individuals Observed


View of a fisherman dressed in black standing in the surf while seabirds fly in a line above the waves
Fishing in the surf.

A number of fishermen out in the surf with waves crashing against their bodies as they fish
Some of these fishermen braved waves crashing against their chests.



Date: May 14, 2006
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Mary Kay Kenney, Dan Miller, Sara Kennedy, Ben Johnson

Comments: Lots of eagles at the north end fishing for unknown prey. The most we counted at once was 26, which included 12 adults. Since they were on mud flats north of the end of our survey route and observed between transects, they are not included in the survey count. We also observed an osprey successfully capturing a fish.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Osprey N. Harrier
9 1 4


No Marked Individuals Observed
Osprey with fish
Osprey with fish



Date: May 4, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Suzanne Tomlinson, Dianna Moore

Comments: Many shorebirds on the beach this morning. We captured and banded the only peregrine we saw, a one-year old male now known to us as E/3. He had a broken primary feather at capture, but was in excellent health.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
3
(2 juveniles; 1 adult)
1
(juvenile)


Peregrine Falcon being held by feet with wings safely secured
E/3


View of Peregrine Falcon E/3's back with its head turned in profile
Back view of E/3


Hands holding out the falcon's wing to show a broken primary feather
Broken primary


Close up of a broken primary feather on Peregrine Falcon E/3
Close-up of broken primary



Date: April 23, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Rick Johns, Helle Andersen

Comments: There were lots of shorebirds on the beach this morning. Two of the four merlins we saw made successful hunts, both capturing small birds over the ocean (not shorebirds). One of the merlins captured its quarry on the first attempt, the other made twelve stoops before it was successful.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Merlin
1
(juvenile)
4




Date: April 15, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Dave Murnen

Comments: A remarkable morning on the beach, despite the rain. We sighted M/K, a one-year old female Bald Eagle banded by Mary Kay Kenney and crew at Long Beach on June 12, 2005. M/K was the first Bald Eagle banded and released during surveys.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Merlin Peregrine Falcon
5
(2 adults, 3 juveniles)
2 1
(adult)


Marked Individuals Observed
Species Color Band Code
Bald Eagle M/K


Immature Bald Eagle perched on driftwood
M/K


Closeup of immature Bald Eagle head
M/K


Close up of Bald Eagle's yellow feet with green metal band and silver metal band visible on legs
The bands up close.



Date: April 12, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Mary Kay, Sam and Philip Kenney, Dianna Moore

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
1
(juvenile)




Date: April 1, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Mary Kay Kenney, Dan Miller, Suzanne Tomlinson

Comments: The rain held off for most of the survey. Merlin B/Z was observed at the south end and we tried unsuccessfully to capture several other different merlins. We identified a fork tailed storm petrel (dead). A flying eagle dropped suddenly when harassed by gulls.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Merlin N. Harrier Peregrine Falcon
3
(juveniles)
4 2 1
((juvenile)


Marked Individuals Observed
Species Color Band Code
Peregrine Falcon K/3
Merlin B/Z

Perched Merlin with blue wings.
Merlin - note the blue wings.

Perched Merlin.
Merlin.



Date: March 31, 2006
Beach: Grayland
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Frank Gordon, Peter Constable

Raptor count: No raptors observed!

Comments: A surprisingly slow morning on the beach, given the nice weather and time of year.



Date: March 21, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dianna Moore, Cathy Varland and Peter Constable

Comments: Many bald eagles on the beach this day.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
8
(3 adult; 5 immature)
1
(adult)


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

Two subadult Bald Eagles standing on the shoreline.
Subadult Bald Eagles.



Date: March 18, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Suzanne Tomlinson, James Harris

Comments: We saw a banded peregrine feeding on a dead gull (see photos).

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Merlin Peregrine Falcon
4
(3 adult; 1 immature)
2 1
(adult)


Marked Individuals Observed
Species Color Band Code
Merlin B/Z

Merlin (B/Z) perched on driftwood
B/Z

Banded peregrine feeding on carrion.
Banded peregrine feeding on carrion. We were unable to read the band before the bird flew away.

Crows eating carrion after the peregrine falcon leaves.
Crows take over after the peregrine leaves. They had been lurking close by all along.



Date: March 16, 2006
Beach: Grayland
Observers: Dan Varland, Suzanne Tomlinson, Dianna Moore, and Dave Murnen

Comments: We went south of the southern boundary of the study area to view the erosion at Washaway Beach (see photo).

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
4
(1 adult; 3 immature)
1
(adult)


Beach erosion seen close to a building
On shaky ground at Washaway Beach.



Date: March 5, 2006
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Mary Kay Kenney, Dan Miller, Christine Watts, Carolyn McDonald

Comments: It was a bit wet but the breezes died down enough to catch one immature peregrine. We saw a banded adult peregrine but the band was too dirty to identify and it was not interested in our bait.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Merlin Peregrine Falcon
3
(1 adult, 2 juveniles)
1 2
(1 adult, 1 juveniles)


Marked Individuals Observed
Species Color Band Code
Peregrine K3 (new)
Peregrine unknown

Man holding a wet Peregrine Falcon at arms length.
K3 held by Dan Miller, Christine Watts observing



Date: March 4, 2006
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Scott Horton, Rob and Cheryl Fimbel

Comments: One individual was banded, an immature female Peale's peregrine (V/Y). She had a foot injury, which wasn't giving her a problem. We observed a color banded peregrine with a red US Fish & Wildlife band on the left leg and a green color band on the right (see photo below). The bird flew away before the color band could be read. This individual was banded by Tracy Fleming. We are sure this is the case because of the arrangement of the bands: Tracy places red Fish & Wildlife bands on the left leg, while Dan and Mary Kay place them on the right. Having such a nice photo of the bird should allow us to sort out which of the three Peale's peregrines Tracy banded last fall this individual is.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Northern Harrier
3
(1 adult; 2 immature)
2
(both immatures)
2

Close up of Peregrine Falcon V/Y
V/Y


Extreme close up of Peregrine Falcon V/Y foot showing healed puncture wound between toes
Injured foot - an old puncture wound.


Photo of two people on the beach holding a Peregrine Falcon
Rob and Cheryl Fimbel with V/Y.


Looking over the back of a Bald Eagle perched on the sand
Bald Eagle at the northernmost end of the Long Beach Peninsula.


Peregrine Falcon perched on a piece of driftwood

Color banded immature peregrine - the bird flew away before the code could be read.



Date: March 3, 2006
Beach: beach at Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area
Observers: Dan Varland, Scott Horton, Dave Murnen, Dianna Moore

Comment: We captured and banded (red no. 8) a 1-year old female Gyrfalcon at the Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area on the south end of the Ocean Shores peninsula. The bird was captured at 6:00PM, and was released after banding and measurements were taken around 7:00PM. Though it was dark except for a minor glimmer of twilight to the west, we reasoned the gyr would be fine given that the species normal haunt is the Arctic, where it's dark for a good portion of the winter. Dianna Moore reported the bird on-site about 800 yards from where she was captured the next day, so mission accomplished.

3 men holding gyrfalcon
Scott Horton (left), Dan Varland and Dave Murnen with the Gyr. Photo by Dianna Moore.