Whatcom Land Trust Bird Survey Summary: 2017

Whatcom Land Trust Bird Survey Summary for 2015 and 2016

Project Description

Bird surveys were initiated in 2015 on twelve Whatcom Land Trust (WLT) properties and three Whatcom County Parks & Recreation (WCPR) properties with conservation easements held by WLT.  The WLT properties included Bottiger’s Pond, California Creek, Catalyst, Edfro Creek Preserve, Ladies of the Lake, Maple Creek Reach, North Fork Eagle, Port Blakely, Riverstead, Samish River Headwaters, Fenton Tract, and Kelsey. The WCPR properties included Squires Lake Park, Lily Point Marine Park, and Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve. 

North Cascades Audubon Society (NCAS) recruited 20 birders to work in pairs, surveying their assigned properties three times a year: during spring migration (early May), breeding season (June), and fall migration (September). Surveys were continued in 2016 and will likely continue in 2017 and into the foreseeable future. These surveys will give WLT and NCAS baseline data on bird species and numbers, enabling us to track changes over time and to identify properties with species of significant concern or importance.  The data may also support future grant requests and guide decisions about habitat enhancement, especially if critical species are found.

Results

In 2015 a total of 116 species of birds were observed on the properties surveyed, with 128 species in 2016. 104 species were observed in both 2015 and 2016, 12 species were observed only in 2015, and 16 species only in 2016. The largest number of species and greatest diversity were found at Ladies of the Lake, Riverstead, Samish River Headwaters, Catalyst, Lily Point, and California Creek (see accompanying table).  All of these properties have a number of features favorable to birds, including wetlands, expanses of water, flowing water, forests, and openings such as fields. 

Given that the survey is only two years old, it’s difficult to describe any trends or to point to specific species or properties that deserve special attention.  However, a good start would be to look more closely at those properties with the largest number of species and greatest diversity.  Another year’s results should allow WLT and NCAS to better understand the data.

  WLT Bird Survey-Summary of Observations by Property 2015 and 2016
         
  # of Species Observed  
Property 2015 2016 Most Prevalent Species Seen Unusual Species or Species of Concern
Bottiger’s Pond WLT 34 43 Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Tree Swallow, American Robin, Common Yellowthroat, Red-Winged blackbird Vaux’s Swift, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Varied thrush, MacG+E16illivray’s Warbler, Black-Throated Gray Warbler, Evening Grosbeak
California Creek WLT 39 50 Wood Duck, Olive-Sided Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, American Crow, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Song Sparrow Black Swift, Rufous Hummingbird, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-Sided Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Red-Eyed Vireo
Catalyst WLT 52 55 Turkey Vulture, Willow Flycatcher, Red-Eyed Vireo, Northern rough-Winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Warbler, White-Crowned Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Black-Headed Grosbeak, Red-Winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch Turkey Vulture, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, American Kestrel, Willow Flycatcher, Red-Eyed Vireo, Savannah Sparrow, Evening Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting
Edfro Creek Preserve WLT 28 24 Common Merganser, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Pacific Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, Wilson’s Warbler, Spotted Towhee Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Black-Throated Gray Warbler
Fenton Tract WLT 47 44 Wood Duck, Hooded merganser, Black-Capped Chickadee, Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing Hooded Merganser, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-Sided Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Black-Throated Gray Warbler
Kelsey WLT   39 Western Wood Pewee, Black-Capped Chickadee, Swainson’s Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, Black-Headed Grosbeak Rufous Hummingbird, Willow Flycatcher, Red-Eyed Vireo, Pacific Wren, Yellow Warbler, Savannah Sparrow
Ladies of the Lake WLT 49 72 Band-Tailed Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Steller’s Jay, Violet-Green Swallow, Black-Capped Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, White-Crowned Sparrow, Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Western Tanager Ruffed grouse, Band-Tailed Pigeon, Vaux’s Swift, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, American Dipper, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Macgillivray’s Warbler, Yellow-Breasted Chat, Evening Grosbeak
Maple Creek Reach WLT 46 42 Canada Goose, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Willow Flycatcher, American Crow, Northern rough-Winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Common Yellowthroat, Red-Winged Blackbird Ruffed Grouse, Turkey Vulture, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Willow Flycatcher, American Dipper, 
North Fork Eagle WLT 34 36 Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Black-Capped Chickadee, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Wilson’s Warbler, Black-Headed Grosbeak Ruffed Grouse, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Macgillivray’s Warbler, Evening Grosbeak
Lily Point Marine Park 39 51 Harlequin Duck, Surf Scoter, Common Loon, Bald Eagle, Glaucous-Winged Gull, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, American Crow, Black-Capped Chickadee, Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Pacific Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Spotted Towhee, American Goldfinch Harlequin Duck, Common Loon, Pileated Woodpecker, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Hermit Thrush, Black-Throated Gray Warbler, 
Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve 33 34 Surf Scoter, Pelagic Cormorant, Black-Capped Chickadee, Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Black-Headed Grosbeak Horned Grebe, Olive-Sided Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Pacific Wren
Port Blakely WLT 8 17 Swainson’s Thrush Black-Throated Gray Warbler
Riverstead WLT 63 66 Common Merganser, Turkey Vulture, Spotted Sandpiper, Rufous Hummingbird, Western Wood Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, American Crow, Black-Capped Chickadee, Bushtit, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, European Starling, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Black-Headed Grosbeak, American Goldfinch, Evening Grosbeak Common Merganser, Turkey Vulture, Spotted Sandpiper, Barn Owl, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Western Wood Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat,  Black-Throated Gray Warbler, Catbird, Bullock’s Oriole, Evening Grosbeak
Samish River Headwaters WLT 64 61 Canada Goose, Mallard, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Steller’s Jay,  American Crow, Tree Swallow, Black-Capped Chickadee, Bushtit, Marsh Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Warbler, Song Sparrow, Black-Headed Grosbeak, Red-Winged blackbird Wood Duck, Turkey Vulture, Band-Tailed Pigeon, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Marsh Wren, Common Yellowthroat, Evening Grosbeak
Squires Lake Park 29 28 Wood Duck, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, American Robin, Wilson’s Warbler, Song Sparrow Wood Duck, Pileated Woodpecker, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Black-Throated Gray Warbler
* Species which may be affected by climate change or decrease in habitat in the future.
        Compiled 3/5/2017
Posted in General, News

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