Notes from the Field (Spring 2008):

Date: : May 31, 2008
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Brian and Beth Sterling


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
1 adult,
1 juvenile



Date: : May 19, 2008
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Dianna Moore and Dann Sears
Comments: Bald Eagle numbers can fluctuate widely during surveys. While we saw 25 Bald Eagles at Long Beach on May 10, today's survey yielded only two individuals.

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
2 adults

Man with two dogs on long leashes on the beach
A Long Beach dog walker lets his pack check out a sea lion carcass.


Photo of uniformed woman on beach with viewing scope
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologists Cyndie Sundstrom and Bill Ritchie survey for Snowy Plovers and their nests at Leadbetter Point on the north end of the Long Beach peninsula.




Date: : May 15, 2008
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Pat Beaty and John Cottrell


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Osprey
7 adults,
5 juveniles
1 1

Raptors Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon X/R

Two men on beach holding a Peregrine Falcon
John Cottrell (left) with Dave Murnen and X/R.


Close up of Peregrine Falcon with wing spread
X/R, a 1-year-old male Peregrine Falcon of the Peale's subspecies. This individual clearly shows the plumage features that define the Peale's - dark plumage and mottled auriculars.


Close up of Peregrine Falcon head
X/R. The auricular areas lie between the malar stripes and the back of the head. This photo clearly shows the mottled auricular characteristic of Peale's peregrines.




Date: : May 10, 2008
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Scott Horton, Brian Sterling and Dan Miller
Comments: We had our first Bald Eagle capture since June 12, 2005.
Miller's Obiter Dictum



Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
11 adults,
14 juveniles
1

Raptors Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle M/A

Man setting up snares on a sea lion carcass.
Scott Horton sets up snares at a sea lion carcass on the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula.


loop of monofilament snare partially buried in the sand.
Snare of 40-lb test monofilament line anchored to chicken wire and buried in the sand. The chicken wire in turn is tethered to a weighted line which is also buried.


Man with captured Bald Eagle.
Scott Horton with captured Bald Eagle, a 2-year-old male.


3 men on the beach consulting over an eagle restrained on a table
Scott Horton talks with Dan Miller (middle) and Brian Sterling about banding the eagle.


Close up of ID bands on the foot of bald eagle
The bands.


Close up of juvenile bald eagle head
M/A.



Scott Horton releases M/A.




Date: : May 6, 2008
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, Dianna Moore, and Russell Cheny


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Merlin
1 adult,
3 juveniles
1





Date: : April 26, 2008
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Suzanne Tomlinson, Dan Miller and John Mitchell
Miller's Obiter Dictum



Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Merlin
3 adults,
7 juveniles
2

Two juvenile Bald Eagles perched on beach
A one-year old male Bald Eagle feeds on a gull while a three-year old female keeps an eye on us. As with most birds of prey, male Bald Eagles are smaller than females. Photo by Dan Varland.


Mature Bald Eagle flying wings spread with crashing waves in background
A first-plumage adult Bald Eagle takes flight. Bald Eagles reach their adult plumage in 5 years, with some individuals retaining juvenile characteristics. Note the brown tips on the tail feathers, the white body feathers and the brown feathers on the head. Photo by John W. Mitchell.




Date: : April 22, 2008
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dianna Moore, Tom Rowley and Brian Sterling


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Northern Harrier
2 adults,
2 juveniles
1 adult 1

Raptors Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon 8/K

Peregrine Falcon held by gloved hands
Adult male Peregrine Falcon, captured and banded with color band 8/K on the beach this morning. Photo by Dan Varland.


Peregrine Falcon held by gloved hands
8/K Photo by Dan Varland


Peregrine Falcon being held by gloved hands with wing stretched out.
8/K Photo by Dan Varland



Date: : April 13, 2008
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Scott Horton, and Brian Sterling


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Turkey Vulture Northern Harrier
6 adults,
8 juveniles
4 1



Date: : April 12, 2008
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Dianna Moore, and Suzanne Tomlinson


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Merlin Northern Harrier
4 adults,
5 juveniles
3 5

Merlin perched on driftwood.
Merlin feeding on a small bird.




Date: : March 29, 2008
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Brian Sterling, Suzanne Tomlinson and Dianna Moore


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
3 adults,
7 juveniles



Date: : March 22, 2008
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Charlie Varland, and Ariel Holeman
Comments: We saw a record 21 Bald Eagles during today's survey at Ocean Shores. This number surpasses the previous high count of 18, recorded this year on March 2 at Long Beach. Before today, the highest Bald Eagle count tallied at Ocean Shores was 11, recorded on February 19, 2007.


Miller's Obiter Dictum

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
11 adults,
10 juveniles

Bald Eagle perched on beach.
Adult Bald Eagle on driftwood


Bald Eagle perched on driftwood structure.
Juvenile Bald Eagle perched in the dunes on geodesic driftwood


Bald Eagle swooping over the beach in front of the view from vehicle.
Bald Eagles were everywhere today. This adult cut in front of us as we drove north up the beach.


Juvenile Bald Eagle perched on driftwood.
Juvenile Bald Eagle feeding on an auklet.



Date: : March 6, 2008
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Suzanne Tomlinson, Dianna Moore, and Deby Dixon


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Northern Harrier Red-tailed Hawk
2 adults,
4 juveniles
1 adult 1 1

Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon K/3

Peregrine Falcon perched on driftwood with crashing waves in the background.
K/3. We banded this individual as a juvenile on March 5, 2006. Aside from an observation on April 1 that year, she hadn't been seen since. Photo by Deby Dixon.


Juvenile Bald Eagle feeding on a Sea Lion carcass.
Juvenile Bald Eagle feeding on a Sea Lion carcass. Photo by D. Varland.


Red-tailed Hawk perched on driftwood.
Red-tailed Hawk, a species we rarely observe on the coast. Photo by D. Varland.



Date: : March 3, 2008
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Dan Miller, Lonnie and Ally Rose
Comments: We saw a record 18 Bald Eagles during today's survey at Long Beach. The previous high count was 14; that survey was March 31, 2007 at Long Beach.


Miller's Obiter Dictum

Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
14 adults,
4 juveniles
2 immature

Raptors Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon A/3
Peregrine Falcon K/4

Girl holding a Peale's Peregrine Falcon
Ally Rose with A/3 before banding. Photo by D. Varland.


A first year male Peale's Peregrine Falcon.
A/3, a first year male Peale's Peregrine Falcon. Photo by D. Varland.


A first-year female Peale's Peregrine Falcon
Dave Murnen with K/4, a first-year female Peale's Peregrine Falcon. Photo by D. Varland.


Heavy machinery re-shaping the dunes
Heavy machinery re-shaping the dunes on Willapa National Wildlife Refuge at the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula; this project is intended to improve nesting habitat for the federally threatened Snowy Plover.