Notes from the Field (Spring 2016):



Date: May 27, 2016
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen and Dianna Moore.


Raptor Count:
Bald Eagle
10 adult,
6 immatures


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle M/R


Bald eagle perched on beach with crashing waves in background
Banded eagle!
Dan Varland photo.


Bald eagle with banded legs
A closer look through a spotting scope revealed that this was M/R, an adult male we saw near his banding location on the Long Beach Peninsula on May 5. The blood around his mouth and on his leg is an indication that he was feeding not long before our encounter today (we saw a fresh seal pup carcass not far from this location).
Dianna Moore photo.


Map of coastline with three separate locations noting the sightings of eagle M/R
Our observation today marks the second time we have re-sighted M/R at Ocean Shores; today's observation was 23.3 miles north of where he was banded and the other nearly 10 miles further north.


Two ravens feeding on a seal carcass
Common Ravens at a Guadalupe Fur Seal carcass.
Dan Varland photo.


Two ravens competing with two seaguls over a seal carcass.
Dan Varland photo.


Raven by a seal carcass missing eyes
Dan Varland photo.


Raven feeding on seal carcass eyes
Dan Varland photo.


Raven by a seal carcass
We collected this carcass and provided it to Dyanna Lamborne of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network for necropsy. Guadalupe Fur Seals are uncommon visitors off the Washington coast.
Dan Varland photo.


Pair of ravens preening on beach
Miles away from the feeding ravens, we saw this pair of love birds allopreening. Allopreening is behavior where one bird preens another of the same species. In paired adults such as these ravens it helps strengthen pair bonds.
Dan Varland photo.


Pair of ravens preening on beach
Dan Varland photo.


Pair of ravens preening on beach
Dan Varland photo.




Date: May 5, 2016
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, and Glenn Marquardt.


Raptor Count:
Bald Eagle
1 adult


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle M/R


Shorebird standing in water
Banded Snowy Plover at the far north end of the Long Beach Peninsula. We reported the observation to Bill Ritchie, a wildlife biologist with Willapa National Wildlife Refuge who monitors this federally threatened species on the peninsula.
Tom Rowley photo.


Shorebird standing in water
Tom Rowley photo.


Perched bald eagle.  Inset photo shows the banded leg.
Banded Bald Eagle. Sunlight reflecting off this band made it impossible to read the code through the camera's eye. Using a spotting scope we did better, identifying this eagle as M/R. Coastal Raptors banded M/R, an adult male, 1.5 miles north of this location on April 12, 2012. Today's re-sighting marks the 11th since he was banded. Most re-sightings have been made close to his banding location. One notable exception is a re-sighting on March 10, 2014 when he was re-sighted twice on the same day at two locations nearly 18 miles apart.
Tom Rowley photo.




Date: April 27, 2016
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dianna Moore, Deb Raymond and Anna Coles.


Raptor Count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
6 adults,
2 imatures
2 immatures


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Bald Eagle B/O
Peregrine Falcon P/7


Individuals Banded:
Peregrine Falcon
A/8


Shrimp boat derelict floating in the surf
The Privateer, a shrimp boat that went aground on April 15, is still off shore.
Dan Varland photo.


Man in wet suit atop the floating shrimp boat derelict while surrounded by waves
A member of the salvage crew ties lines to the boat.
Dan Varland photo.


Shrimp boat derelict floating in the surf
Dan Varland photo.


Truck on beach with line running back into surf
The lines run ashore to this pickup operated by Global Dive and Salvage.
Dan Varland photo.


Albatross carcass
We ran across this partially scavenged Laysan Albatross.
Dan Varland photo.


Close up of head of albatross carcass
Dan Varland photo.


Banded peregrine falcon being held by legs
We captured and banded this male Peregrine Falcon.
Deb Raymond photo.


Hooded peregrine falcon being held
A hooded falcon is a calm falcon.
Deb Raymond photo.


Hooded peregrine falcon being weighed
Hoods are especially handy during weighing.
Deb Raymond photo.


Person holding peregrine falcon while another photographs leg bands
Dianna holds the falcon while I get a close-up shot of the bands.
Deb Raymond photo.



Dan Varland photo.


Close up of feathers including one split down middle
A/8 had two damaged tail feathers, including the one shown here.
Dan Varland photo.


Falcon flying over beach
Away!
Deb Raymond photo.




Date: April 22, 2016
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, and Dianna Moore.


Raptor Count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Merlin
7 adults,
2 imatures
1 adult,
1 imature
1
(age uncertain)


Derelict shrimp boat poking out of surf
Boat founders just north of the jetty. This shrimp boat, The Privateer, ran aground here on April 15. The Coast Guard rescued the crew of three.
Tom Rowley photo.


Salvage vehicle on beach
Global Dive and Salvage was on hand with this vehicle to pick up debris that washed ashore.
Tom Rowley photo.


Falcon flying over beach
Immature peregrine that we saw but were unable to capture.
Tom Rowley photo.


Falcon perched on branch with dunegrass in background
We caught a brief look at this adult peregrine before it flew east over the dunes.
Tom Rowley photo.


Coyote standing on beach near dunes
Coyote.
Tom Rowley photo.


Raven feeds on gull carcass.
Raven feeds on gull carcass.
Tom Rowley photo.


Raven feeds on gull carcass.
Tom Rowley photo.


Photos of ravens showing metal band on leg
Banded raven! It wasn't until Tom looked closely at his photos after the survey that he noticed this raven had a band. Coastal Raptors is the only group banding ravens anywhere close to the coast, and since ravens are non-migratory this individual is no doubt one of ours. We apply wraparound plastic color bands to each leg in addition to the USGS silver band still present on this bird. We use a soldering iron to melt the plastic to seal the bands shut. This raven broke the seals and got the bands off.
Tom Rowley photo.




Date: April 11, 2016
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Tom Rowley, Sandra Miller and Suzanne Staples.


Raptor Count:
Bald Eagle
1 adult,
1 imature


Ravens feed at a sea lion carcass
Ravens feed at a sea lion carcass during the northbound portion of our survey, 12:38 PM.
Tom Rowley photo.


Bald Eagle and raven feeding
At 3:08 PM, driving south past the same carcass, Tom took this photo of a Bald Eagle and raven feeding.
Tom Rowley photo.


Caspian Tern.
Caspian Tern.
Tom Rowley photo.


At the Ocean Park beach access, we saw these Caspian Terns at creek's edge.
At the Ocean Park beach access, we saw these Caspian Terns at creek's edge.
Tom Rowley photo.


Caspian tern - inset with magnified leg bands
We submitted our sighting of the banded tern to Bird Research Northwest.
Tom Rowley photo.


Whimbrel.
Whimbrel.
Tom Rowley photo.


Black-bellied Plovers and Sanderlings.
Black-bellied Plovers and Sanderlings.
Tom Rowley photo.




Date: March 19, 2016
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dale Larson, Phil Olafsen and Michelle De Beauchamp.


Raptor Count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Merlin
3 adults,
2 imatures
2 adults 1 adult


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon R/6
Common Raven ROYLGS
Bald Eagle B/O


Man in bright rain gear fishing in waves and surf.
Fishing for surf perch north of Ocean Shores.
Dan Varland photo.


Bald Eagle perched on driftwood
Bald Eagle with visual identification band B/O. Coastal Raptors captured and banded this eagle 3.7 miles north of this location on June 12, 2015.
Dan Varland photo.


Sand sculpture of a giant salamander
Sand salamander sighting!
Dan Varland photo.


Adult male merlin perched on driftwood.
Adult male merlin. .
Dan Varland photo.


Adult male merlin perched on driftwood.
Dan Varland photo.




Date: March 12, 2016
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, John Larson, Pete and Leslie Strong, Tom Rowley, Chrissy Williams, and Lisa Dick.


Raptor Count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
6 adults,
4 imatures
2 adults


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon Z/V
Peregrine Falcon R/6
Bald Eagle D/2
Bald Eagle U/O


SUV parked on the beach
The survey vehicle. Copalis Rocks are in the background.
Tom Rowley photo.


Falcon perched on driftwood looking up
Peregrine Falcon R/6 does some bird watching of her own!
Tom Rowley photo.


Two bald eagles perched on the sand
Bald Eagles at the water's edge. The banded bird is D/2, a female we banded as a 3-year-old on May 5, 2014. Still retaining brown feathers in head and tail, D/2 will be five years old this spring. Most Bald Eagles reach adult plumage, with completely with head and tail, in five years. D/2 is right on track.
Tom Rowley photo.


Bald eagle approaching a seal carcass
Bald Eagle feeding at Harbor Seal carcass.
Tom Rowley photo.


Two ravens and two bald eagles near a seal carcass
He was not alone! Behind the eagle are two ravens and an immature eagle.
Tom Rowley photo.


SUV on beach with steep dropoff from dunes
Our survey vehicle headed north.
Tom Rowley photo.


Tow ravens near seal carcass
The second time we passed by the seal carcass ravens were in feeding.
Tom Rowley photo.


Tow ravens near seal carcass
Tom Rowley photo.


Bald eagle perched on driftwood near dune grass
Bald Eagle perched near the seal carcass while the ravens were feeding. This banded eagle is U/O, an adult female we banded on June 9, 2012. In 2014, Connie Kingsbury found U/O nesting near her home on the bay side of the Ocean Shores peninsula; her mate was also banded.
Tom Rowley photo.




Date: March 6, 2016
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Mary Kay Kenney, Philip Kenney, Joe Barnes, Glenn Marquardt, Dan Miller and Sandra Miller.


Raptor Count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon
7 adults,
3 imatures,
1 age uncertain
1 adult,
1 immature,
1 age uncertain


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon P/7
Peregrine Falcon R/6


Group of people posing for photo
Today's survey included, L to R: Joe Barnes, Sandra Miller, Dan Miller, Dan Varland, Dave Murnen, Kenney, Mary Kay Kenney, and Glenn Marquardt.


This group got caught in a rain squall! We were fortunate to be in our vehicles when it hit!
This group got caught in a rain squall! We were fortunate to be in our vehicles when it hit!
Dan Varland photo.


group of people caught in a rain squall
Dan Varland photo.


group of people caught in a rain squall
Dan Varland photo.


group of people caught in a rain squall
This photo and the one preceding it were taken less than one minute apart!
Dan Varland photo.



Peregrine Falcon R/6 drying her tail!
Dan Varland photo.



R/6 perching for photos.
Dan Varland photo.



Mary Kay Kenney calms Peregrine Falcon P/7 with a hat. P/7 was captured and banded on November 2, 2015. In November, we inadvertently forgot to collect feather samples. Today offered a perfect opportunity to get those samples!
Dan Varland photo.



Joe Barnes explains our sampling procedure.
Dan Varland video


Joe collects the samples.
Joe collects the samples.
Dan Varland photo.




Date: March 5, 2016
Location: Long Beach
Observers: Dan Varland, Mary Kay Kenney, Philip Kenney, Larry Warwick, Joe Barnes and Glenn Marquardt.


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon U/2
Common Raven RSYLGO


Razor clammer.
Razor clammer.
Dan Varland photo.


Lots of razor clamers! That's North Head in the background. This headland marks the southern boundary of the peninsula. We saw diggers from one end of the peninsula to the other.
Lots of razor clamers! That's North Head in the background. This headland marks the southern boundary of the peninsula. We saw diggers from one end of the peninsula to the other.
Dan Varland photo.


Merlin perched at the edge of the dunes
Merlin perched at the edge of the dunes, away from the clam crowd. This was a 'Black Merlin', the darkest of the three North American subspecies. It's not often that we see a Black Merlin on a beach survey.
Dan Varland photo.




Date: March 2, 2016
Location: Ocean Shores
Observers: Dan Varland, Rocio Crespo, Heather Skinner, Carolyn Fitterer, Tom Rowley, Chrissy Williams and Angelo Bruscas.


Raptor Count:
Bald Eagle Peregrine Falcon Northern Harrier
8 adults,
3 imatures
2 adults,
1 imature
1


Marked Individuals Observed:
Species Color Marker Code
Peregrine Falcon P/7
Peregrine Falcon R/6
Peregrine Falcon Z/V
Bald Eagle U/O


SUV parked on beach near falcon perched on driftwood
Peregrine Falcon R/6 watching us as we watch her!
Tom Rowley photo.


Falcon scratching its head with its talon
R/6 scratching where it itches!
Tom Rowley photo.


SUV parked on beach with many shorebirds in foreground
Dunlin and Sanderlings (lighter plumage).
Tom Rowley photo.


Two bald eagles perched on a carved fish
The banded eagle is U/O, an adult female Coastal Raptors captured and banded 2.2 miles north of this location on Jun 9, 2012. The smaller male next to her likely is her mate. In 2014, U/O was found nesting on the harbor side of the Ocean Shores peninsula with M/D, a male Coastal Raptors banded on March 18, 2012.
Tom Rowley photo.


Three women and one man talking behind SUV with hatch open
To learn about Coastal Raptors research efforts, joining us from Washington State University were veterinary students Carolyn Fitterer (white) and Heather Skinner (purple) with Professor Dr. Rocio Crespo. Dr. Crespo teaches at the College of Veterinary Medicine's Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab in Puyallup, Washington.
Tom Rowley photo.