Happy Leap Day!

Since 2012 is a Leap Year we got an extra day for birding today. We didn’t think that was fair so we spent the day preparing for our return home from our northwest adventures.

Just kidding. The weather was awful (again), so we spent the morning getting some maintenance done on the van and doing some shopping. By early afternoon it looked like it was starting to clear up some so our friend, John, and his son, Ewan, graciously offered to take us on a birding trip to Sequim Bay, just west of Port Townsend.

Our target was the Yellow-billed Loon that was being seen off and on at John Wayne Marina. We spent some time scoping the bay but the weather turned fickle again and it started to rain so we headed over to the Audubon Center at Railroad Park instead.

The staff at the center was very helpful and provided us with directions to locations where we might find some of our other target birds: Evening Grosbeak, Northern Goshawk, and especially, Northern Shrike. While at the center we saw chickadees, juncos, sparrows, and a Purple Finch at the feeders.

We decided to concentrate on the shrike since it was starting to get late and we didn’t have time to chase after all three targets. We drove the back roads and visited about a half dozen birding spots but were unable to find a shrike anywhere. We did see a Short-eared Owl on the prowl and many other species.

So, our birding in northern Washington ended on a sour note, but the trip has been great overall. We will leave with a few misses but our hits will far outnumber the misses.

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