Notes from the Field (Fall 2010):

Date: November 28, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Charlie Varland, Ariel Varland, Dave Murnen, and Mike Walker


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle
1 adult,
1 juvenile
3 adults, 1 juvenile,
1 age undetermined



Shore birds clustered on beach
Dunlin in winter plumage where Conner Creek meets the Ocean. Ariel Varland photo.
Ariel Varland photo.


Three-year-old Bald Eagle.
Three-year-old Bald Eagle.
Ariel Varland photo.



Date: November 20, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dave Murnen, Dan Varland, Mary and Dave Daniels-Lee.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle
2 adults 1 adult,
1 juvenile



Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon A/4
Peregrine Falcon K/2



Peregrine Falcon perched on driftwood
Peregrine Falcon with colored leg band A/4 at Ocean Shores. Now two years old, we captured and banded this female as a first-year bird on September 19, 2008. She has fully molted into adult plumage.
Dan Varland photo.


Peregrine Falcon perched on driftwood
Peregrine Falcon with colored leg band K/2 at Ocean Shores. Captured and banded at Ocean Shores on January 23, 2010 when she was a brown-plumaged first-year bird, K/2 is now 1.5 years old. Her molt to blue-gray adult plumage is still underway.
Dan Varland photo.


Truck in the surf! Several guys from the truck in the foreground tried to rescue the truck behind.  Their truck got mired in as the tide rose.
Truck in the surf! Several guys from the truck in the foreground tried to rescue the truck behind. Their truck got mired in as the tide rose.
Dan Varland photo.


Men with heavy rope in surf with truck partially submerged in waves behind them.
With help from North Beach Towing, they succeeded in bringing the truck to the beach, then town.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: November 17, 2010
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Dale Larson, Mike Walker, Ernie Lysen, Rick Lysen, and Ken Lysen..


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle
2 1 adult,
1 age undeterm



Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon C/4



Man on beach holding leg-banded falcon.
Mike Walker with C/4, a female Peregrine we captured and banded at Long Beach on December 19, 2004. She is now 6 years of age. We have recaptured her five times over the years. We try to re-capture our banded peregrines once each year to obtain blood and feather samples for contaminant and genetic analyses.
Dale Larson photo.


3 men on beach in heavy coats, one holding a banded falcon.
Ernie Lysen (center) celebrates his 80th birthday this day with sons Rick (holding C/4) and Ken. In a thank-you note a few days after the survey, Ernie wrote “A guy couldn't have asked for a better birthday party.”
Dan Varland photo.



Date: November 13, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dave Murnen, Dianna Moore, Don and Dalene Edgar.


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Northern Harrier
4 adult,
1 juvenile
1



Adult Bald Eagles make use of driftwood set in the sand by beach people.
Adult Bald Eagles make use of driftwood set in the sand by beach people.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Bald Eagle and float.
Bald Eagle and float.
Dalene Edgar photo.



Date: October 31, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Varland, Dave Murnen, Dan and Sandra Miller.


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



Raptors Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon E/5



Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon A/4



Female Peregrine Falcon captured and banded on the beach today.
E/5, a heavily marked female Peregrine Falcon captured and banded on the beach today.
Dan Varland photo.


Close-up of Peregrine Falcon.
Close-up of E/5.
Dan Varland photo.


Sunrise at Conner Creek.  Clouds and rising sun reflected in creek.
Sunrise at Conner Creek. This creek meets the ocean at the north end of our survey area.
Dave Murnen photo.


Rainbow over beach and ocean
We enjoyed this rainbow during today's survey.
Dave Murnen photo.



Date: October 28, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Julia Bent, and Scott Horton.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle Northern Harrier
1 adult 1 adult 3



Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon A/4



Peregrine Falcon at lift-off.
A/4 at lift-off.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: October 27, 2010
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Julia Bent, Dianna Moore, and Kathleen Wolgemuth.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Merlin Bald Eagle Northern Harrier
1 adult,
1 juvenile
2 1 adult 2



Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon 32/V



Julia Bent with 32/V, a first-year female Peregrine Falcon that we captured.
Julia Bent with 32/V, a first-year female Peregrine Falcon that we captured. This individual was not banded during one of our surveys. It will be interesting to find out from the Bird Banding Lab who banded this peregrine and where. We captured her to take measurements and get blood and feather samples.
Dan Varland photo.


Close-up of identification bands on the legs of a falcon.
Close-up of the bands.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: October 17, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Mary and Dave Daniels-Lee.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Merlin Bald Eagle Northern Harrier Owl
(species
undetermined)
1 juvenile 1 1 adult >3 1



Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon K/2




Date: October 12, 2010
Beach: Long Beach, Washington
Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, Don and Dalene Edgar


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Northern Harrier
1 adult 2 adults 3 adults



Close up of a sea lion
We were able to drive right to this sea lion near the water's edge; it was one of two we saw alive during the survey. She was very lean and did not appear to be doing well physically. We counted an unusually large number of dead marine mammals during the survey: four sea lions and a fur seal.
Tom Rowley photo.


Adult male Northern Harrier in flight over the dune grass.
Adult male Northern Harrier in flight over the dune grass.
Tom Rowley photo.


Man and woman with camera on the shore
Dalene and Don Edgar at the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula.
Photo by Dan Varland.


Shorebirds in flight
Dunlins.
Photo by Dalene Edgar.


Black-bellied Plovers and Dunlins near the dune line at dusk.
Black-bellied Plovers and Dunlins near the dune line at dusk.
Photo by Dalene Edgar.


Shorebirds at sunset.
Shorebirds at sunset. Photo by Dalene Edgar.


Sunset over the Pacific.
Sunset over the Pacific.
Photo by Dalene Edgar.



Date: October 7, 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon - Cascades Raptor Center
Comments: On my return from California, I stopped by the Cascades Raptor Center to see a Gyrfalcon the Loughin family and I rescued with a terrible eye infection during a survey at Long Beach in February of 2004.


Man facing gyrfalcon
An adult female Gyrfalcon, named Nike, in the education program at the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, Oregon. Photo by Louise Shimmel.



Date: October 4-6, 2010
Location: Northern California
Comments: I spent a few days in early October near McKinleyville, California teaching Yurok Tribe biologists Chris West and Tiana Williams safe and effective use of a net launcher, a trap for capturing large birds. The Yurok Tribe's Wildlife Program recently purchased this device to capture and sample lead levels in Common Ravens.

For the past two years, Chris and Tiana have captured and assessed lead levels in Turkey Vultures using a walk-in trap. They are measuring lead levels in ravens and vultures as part of a program to determine the feasibility of reintroducing the endangered California Condor to northern California. Until the latter part of the 19th Century, California Condors were relatively common in coastal California; the species has great cultural and religious significance to the Yurok Tribe and other tribes in the region.

While reintroduction efforts for California Condors have been under way for many years in southern California and Nevada, they have been severely hampered by the species' susceptibility to lead poisoning. Like ravens and turkey vultures, California Condors ingest lead through eating the remains of hunter-shot deer and elk carcasses.


Man and woman holding a Turkey Vulture
Tiana Williams and Chris West with a Turkey Vulture in northern California.


Man pulling net back into launcher
Dan Varland with Tiana Williams and Chris West.


Wooded hillside with net in air after being launched
Practice shot with the net launcher.


Man and woman untangling chicken from under a net
Chris and Tiana capture a chicken with the launcher.



Date: October 1, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Varland, Brian Sterling, Carol Nagy and Dianna Moore


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
1 Adult








Date: September 19, 2010
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Varland with Tom, Carol, and Emily Root


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
2 Adults 1 (age unknown)