Notes from the Field (Winter 2011):

Date: February 26, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, Dan Miller, Cameron and Christina Snyder.
Miller's Obiter Dictum

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



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



Peregrine falcon in flight
A/4 stoops at prey.
Tom Rowley photo.


Peregrine falcon perched on sand with prey in it's beak.
A/4 feeds on a bird.
Tom Rowley photo.


Two men looking at a camera with a huge lens.
Tom Rowley (left) and Dan Miller check some of Tom's photos of A/4.
Dan Varland photo.


Common Raven scavenges.
Common Raven scavenges gull carcass.




Date: February 21, 2011
Beach: Grayland
Observers: Dan Varland, Dale Larson, Dan Miller, Cameron and Christina Snyder.
Comment: Given how successful our survey was yesterday at Ocean Shores, we were surprised at no seeing any raptors on the Grayland beach this morning.




Date: February 20, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave and Mary Daniels-Lee, Cameron Snyder.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon
3 adults



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



A male Bald Eagle feeds on a bird carcass at the edge of the Pacific.
A male Bald Eagle feeds on a bird carcass at the edge of the Pacific.
Dan Varland photo.


male Bald Eagle cleans his beak after feeding
The male Bald Eagle cleans his beak after feeding.
Dan Varland photo.


Bald Eagle pair relaxing at the water's edge.
Bald Eagle pair relaxing at the water's edge.
Dan Varland photo.


Peregrine falcon
Peregrine Falcon W/Z.
Dan Varland photo.


Wildlife photographers in SUV watching a perched peregrine falcon
Wildlife photographers with peregrine A/4.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: February 12, 2011
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Kara Mortimer, Michelle Bounds and Mary O'Neil.
Comments: Winds were in excess of 20 miles per hour during today's survey. We did manage to see two Bald Eagles over the dunes flying against the strong winds.


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
2



4Runner and blowing sand.
The 4Runner and blowing sand.
Dan Varland photo.


Woman and man facing into wind on beach
Kara Mortimer and I brave the wind and blowing sand at the north end of the Long Beach peninsula. The anemometer showed wind speed at this moment was 23 mph. It seemed much more than that!
Michelle Bounds photo.


Sand blowing through vegetation on dunes.
We witnessed how dunes are made during today's all-too-windy survey.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: February 11, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Mary O'Neil, Mike Walker and Jerry Broadus.


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



Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon A/4
Peregrine Falcon P/5
Peregrine Falcon W/Z



Peregrine falcon perched on driftwood
A/4.
Jerry Broadus photo.


Bearded man in yellow rain slicker holding a hooded falcon on the beach.
Jerry Broadus with W/Z. This three-year-old male peregrine was captured and banded as a first-year bird on November 17, 2007.
Mike Walker photo.


Hooded falcon secured on table while two men prepare to take blood sample.
Jerry Broadus holds W/Z while I prepare to take a blood sample.
Mike Walker photo.



W/Z plucking a European Starling at Ocean Shores.
This photo was taken in March of 2010 by Rob Palmer.


Falcon eating prey bird.
To avoid being bitten, early in the feeding process peregrines usually remove the head of their prey.
Rob Palmer photo.


Peregrine falcon perched on sand with it's head turned to look skyward.
W/Z looks skyward in March 2010.
Photo by Rob Palmer.



Date: January 28, 2011
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, Torgeir Nygard and Ulla.


Raptor count:
Bald Eagle
4 adults



2 photos of Snowy Plover shorebird with colored bands on it's legs
Color banded Snowy Plover at the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula.
Tom Rowley photo.


Bald Eagle standing in the rain. A moment when the protective nictitating membrane was across the eye.
Bald Eagle standing in the rain. Tom Rowley's camera captured a moment when the protective nictitating membrane was across the eye.


Man and woman dressed in warm jackets standing on the beach
Torgeir Nygard and Ulla. Torgeir is a Wildlife Biologist for The Institute for Nature Research in Norway. He studies the impact of wind turbines on White-tailed Sea Eagles on the island of Smola in Norway. Ulla heads Project Gyrfalcon in Sweden. She and her team monitor more than 50 Gyrfalcon territories there. Torgeir and Ulla stopped by for a few days before heading off to Boise, Idaho for a conference on Gyrfalcons. For information on this conference, which I also attended, go to http://www.peregrinefund.org/gyr_conference/.
Dan Varland photo.


Warmly attired people on beach working on netlauncher device.
Dan, Torgeir and Ulla get ready for a practice firing of the Coastal Raptors netlauncher. Torgeir recently purchased one of these traps for catching large birds from Bryan Bedrosian (Trapping Innovations).
Tom Rowley photo.



Date: January 20, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dale Larson, Dianna Moore, and Mike Walker.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle
5 adults 2 adults



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



Man holding falcon
Mike Walker with K/2.
Dan Varland photo.


Man holding down a falcon extending its wing to carefully draw blood
With helping hands from Dianna Moore and Mike Walker, Dan Varland takes a blood sample from K/2. This one-year-old female Peregrine Falcon was first captured and banded on January 23, 2010. We took a blood sample that day also. If we see her during surveys in 2012, we'll try to get another sample.
Dale Larson photo.


Hooded falcon being held
K/2, still showing many brown feathers from her first-year plumage.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: January 15, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Sandra Miller, Dan Miller, Stan Johannes, Bonnie Johannes; Dale and Shirley.
Miller's Obiter Dictum


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle Northern Harrier
1 adult 4 adults 1



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







Date: January 8, 2011
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Suzanne Tomlinson, and Dalene Edgar.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon
4 adults,
1 juvenile


Shilloutee of Bald Eagle perched on branch at sunrise.
Bald Eagle at sunrise.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Two bald eagles perched on branch
Contrary to most bird species, in raptors females are typically larger than males. In this photo by Dalene Edgar, the size difference between male (above) and female Bald Eagles is clearly evident.


Common Ravens scavenging a bird carcass, showing the larger male on the right.
Common Ravens scavenging a bird carcass, showing the larger male on the right.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Rainbow over beach - shorebirds in foreground
Rainbow north of Conner Creek. Dalene Edgar photo
Dalene Edgar photo.


Crashing waves
Looking west.
Dan Varland photo.


No tracks leading up to this vehicle indicate that it was stranded there at the last high tide.
No tracks leading up to this vehicle indicate that it was stranded there at the last high tide.
Dan Varland photo.



Date: January 3, 2011
Beach: Grayland
Observers: Dan Varland, Sandra Miller, and Mary O'Neil.


Raptor count:
Northern Harrier
1



House tipped over bank onto undercut beach.
Washaway beach south of Grayland claims a home, with another soon to follow.



Date: December 28, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Mike Walker, Scott Ford, and Hans Running.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon
1 adult,
1 juvenile


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



Peregrine Falcon perched on driftwood
A/4.
Mike Walker photo.



Date: December 19, 2010
Beach: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Scott Horton, Dave Murnen and Scott Ford.


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



Raptors Banded:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon D/2
Peregrine Falcon U/3



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



Man holding a Peregrine Falcon on the beach
Scott Horton with V/V. We re-captured this 7-year-old female to obtain blood and feather samples. She was first captured on January 19, 2003. We have re-sighted her twelve times over the years, four of these included recaptures.


Man stretching out the wing while holding a Peregrine Falcon on the beach
Scott Ford with D/2, a first-year female Peregrine Falcon we captured and banded.


Close up of a banded falcon leg
Both of D/2's feet were scarred and showed a lack of scales. We're not sure what caused her foot injuries; it appeared that the skin was healing.


One man holding a falcon while another uses tongs to feed it.
Dave Murnen (left) and Scott Ford fed D/2 before release, given her injuries.


Man holding a Peregrine Falcon on the beach
Scott Horton with U/3, a first-year female Peregrine Falcon we captured and banded.



Date: December 16, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Mike Walker, Dave and Mary Daniels-Lee.


Raptor count:
Peregrine Falcon Bald Eagle
2 adults 2 adults



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




Date: December 11, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dan Miller, Kathleen Wolgemuth, and Jim Nagen.


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



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



Three people holding a hooded falcon
Dan Miller (left), Jim Nagen and Kathleen Wolgemuth with Peregrine Falcon A/4. We obtained blood and feather samples and released her shortly thereafter.


Man stretching out the wing of a peregrine falcon
We captured this first-year female peregrine and attached green leg band P/5.


Man holding a peregrine falcon with wings extended
P/5.



Date: December 4, 2010
Beach: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dale Larson, Don and Dalene Edgar.


Raptor count:
Northern Harrier Peregrine Falcon
1 1 adult



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



Peregrine Falcon perched on driftwood
A/4.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Banded Peregrine Falcon lifting off in flight
A/4 at lift-off.
Dalene Edgar photo.


Sanderling (gray backs) and Dunlin (brown backs) shorebirds flying in a tight flock
Sanderling (gray backs) and Dunlin (brown backs).
Dalene Edgar photo.