International Brant Monitoring Project
Observation Logs:


2007/2008 Observations

Date Location Observers Count Percent Juveniles Notes
Oct 30 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge flocks 2
Nov 1 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 6 3
Nov 2 Padilla Bay Reserve staff 100 4
Nov 4 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge >27,000 5
Nov 5 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 43 17 6
Nov 6 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 220 11 7
Nov 7 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 18 8
Nov 9 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 25,000 9
Nov 9 San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California Sur GELSI 13 n/a 10
Nov 10 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 10,800 11
Nov 11 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 23 12
Nov 11 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 57,000 13
Nov 12 OTHER OTHER 107/hr 14
Nov 13 OTHER OTHER 3000+ 15
Nov 14 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 38 16
Nov 21 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 101 17
Nov 23 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 6 NA 18
Nov 27 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 131 19
Nov 29 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 0 20
Dec 4 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 133 21
Dec 6 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 84 na 22
Dec 9 Drakes Estero, CA Rod Hug 117 na 23
Dec 10 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 138 24
Dec 11 Bodega Bay, CA Rod Hug 2354 na 25
Dec 11 Tomales Bay, CA Rod Hug 310 na 26
Dec 12 Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, Guerro Negro Lagoon, Baja California Reserve Students/ Pro Esteros 1714 n/a 27
Dec 14 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 500+ 28
Dec 15 Tomales Bay, CA Rod Hug 999 29
Dec 21 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 300+ 30
Dec 21 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 140-150 31
Dec 23 Drakes Estero, CA Rod Hug 175 na 32
Dec 30 Bodega Bay, CA Rod Hug 875 na 33
Jan 1 Tomales Bay, CA Rod Hug 999 35
Jan 1 Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, Guerro Negro Lagoon, Baja California Reserve Students/ Pro Esteros 2377 n/a 34
Jan 5 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 174 36
Jan 8 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 37
Jan 9 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 425 na 38
Jan 10 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 166 39
Jan 10 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 50 40
Jan 12 Tomales Bay, CA Rod Hug 1566 41
Jan 18 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 182 42
Jan 25 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School ~200 43
Jan 25 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 28,329 43
Jan 28 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 224 20% 44
Feb 4 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 165 45
Feb 8 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 6 46
Feb 9 Tomales Bay, CA Rod Hug 1473 47
Feb 13 OTHER OTHER 0 0 48
Feb 15 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 173 49
Feb 18 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 325+ NA 50
Feb 22 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 50 51
Feb 25 San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California Sur GELSI 110 n/a 52
Feb 26 San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja California Sur GELSI 397 n/a 53
Feb 27 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 0 na 54
Feb 27 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 1400 55
Feb 28 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 1000 56
Mar 3 Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, Guerro Negro Lagoon, Baja California Reserve Students/ Pro Esteros 449 n/a 57
Mar 4 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 165-179 58
Mar 10 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 10000 59
Mar 10 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 168 60
Mar 13 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 3000 61
Mar 13 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 3 na 62
Mar 13 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 425+ na 63
Mar 14 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 135 na 64
Mar 14 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 100 na 65
Mar 14 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 165-250 66
Mar 15 Bodega Bay, CA Rod Hug 300-500 67
Mar 17 Parksville-Qualicum, Canada Guy Monty 2,000+ 68
Mar 18 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 26 69
Mar 19 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 135 na 71
Mar 19 Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, Guerro Negro Lagoon, Baja California Reserve Students/ Pro Esteros 72 n/a 72
Mar 19 OTHER OTHER >2000 72
Mar 19 OTHER OTHER 500-700 70
Mar 20 Tomales Bay, CA Rod Hug 30 73
Mar 20 Parksville-Qualicum, Canada Guy Monty ? 74
Mar 20 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 120 75
Mar 20 Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, Guerro Negro Lagoon, Baja California Reserve Students/ Pro Esteros 10 n/a 75
Mar 21 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 25000 76
Mar 21 Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, Guerro Negro Lagoon, Baja California Reserve Students/ Pro Esteros 40 n/a 76
Mar 22 Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, Guerro Negro Lagoon, Baja California Reserve Students/ Pro Esteros 70 n/a 76
Mar 23 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 6 77
Mar 24 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 110-120 78
Mar 25 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 16000 79
Mar 26 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 350 na 80
Mar 28 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 250 na 81
Mar 30 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 410 82
Mar 31 OTHER OTHER 3+ 83
Mar 31 OTHER OTHER 100+ 84
Apr 2 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 100 na 85
Apr 3 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 450 n/a 86
Apr 4 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 230-269 88
Apr 4 Bodega Bay, CA Rod Hug 375 87
Apr 7 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 325+ 10 89
Apr 9 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 230 na 90
Apr 9 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 407 n/a 91
Apr 10 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 78 na 92
Apr 11 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 0? 93
Apr 11 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 160-168 94
Apr 13 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 375+ na 95
Apr 15 OTHER OTHER 120 96
Apr 15 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 100-159 97
Apr 17 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 187 99
Apr 17 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 786 n/a 98
Apr 18 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School ~1000 100
Apr 19 OTHER OTHER 50+ 102
Apr 19 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 108/hr 101
Apr 24 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 420 n/a 103
Apr 25 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists ~200 104
Apr 26 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 3000 105
Apr 28 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge many 107
Apr 28 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 425+ na 106
Apr 29 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 0-64 108
Apr 30 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 38 na 109
May 2 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 56 na 110
May 3 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 75+ na 111
May 3 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 0-26 113
May 5 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 0-80 114
May 6 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 143 na 115
May 7 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 750 116
May 8 OTHER OTHER 30 117
May 9 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 0-130 118
May 11 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge many 119
May 11 OTHER OTHER 22 120
May 13 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 400 121
May 14 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 0-8 122
May 15 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 13005 123
May 19 Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, AK Chris Nicolai 1000's 0 128
May 20 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 2-20 129
May 22 OTHER OTHER 16-80 130
May 26 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 131
May 28 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 33 132
May 28 Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, AK Chris Nicolai 1000's 0 133
Jun 2 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 22 135
Jun 2 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 7 134


Notes:

2 This morning John Maxwell observed 4 or 5 flocks of brant and a few other flocks of Canada geese flying south over Cold Bay. It is not known how many birds may have departed this morning or last night but judging from the numbers observed this morning it may not be a major departure for brant. The winds are generally westerly but strong 32 knots. There is a strong low pressure system centered near Kodiak Island that is producing these strong winds for southward migrations. The birds should be showing up along the coast of British Columbia, Washington in a couple of days and in California and Baja California a day or so later.

Good luck looking for migrants........!!

David Ward, USGS

3 At about 4 PM on 1 November 2007, Janet Lamberson saw six Brant at Yaquina
Bay, Oregon. They were on the mudflats east of the Oregon State
University Hatfield Marine Science Center at Newport, Oregon. These are
the first reported this fall at Yaquina Bay or in Lincoln County, along
the Oregon central coast.

During 1975-1996, Brant arrived at Yaquina Bay between Oct. 22-Nov. 4,
except in 1991 (Nov. 20) and 1993 (Nov. 7) when poor observation effort
may have missed arrivals (Bayer, R. D. 1996. Censuses of Black Brant at
Yaquina Estuary, Lincoln County, Oregon. J. Oregon Ornithology 6:723-780
at http://www.orednet.org/~rbayer/j/j723.htm that updates Bayer, R. D.
1983. Seasonal occurrences of ten waterbird species at Yaquina Estuary,
Oregon. Murrelet 64:78-86.).

Brant typically overwinter at three Oregon Bays: Yaquina Bay and Tillamook
and Netarts Bays to the north in Tillamook County.

Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

4 Have any brant arrived in Washington State yet? Emily Mendell and I decided to go see.

The weather was beautiful; cool, calm, and cloudy. The tide was high. In the northern part of the bay we saw thousands of ducks and several eagles but no brant. We spotted loons, common mergansers, grebes, cormorants, scoters, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers and a seal. Finally, after driving around the bay and searching for hours, in the south end of the bay we spotted approximately 100 black brant. At first they were hard to spot because they were far away and among dense crowds of ducks. Then we saw a few brant, their long necks sticking up, separated into several groups. Eventually they merged to form one large group. Lots of pintail ducks and mallards were mixed in with the brant. It was exciting to see the brant busily picking up eelgrass knowing that they had just arrived from their long flight.
Alex

5 Here is the migration update from Izembek Lagoon:

Approximately 200-300 brant took off from Izembek Lagoon and headed southeast just after sunrise on October 30. Flocks of cackling geese headed south throughout the day. About an hour before sunset on October 30, approximately 4000-5000 brant took off from Izembek Lagoon and headed southeast in several large flocks. Huge flocks of brant demonstrated migratory restlessness by flying up in massive flocks and swirling around over the lagoon at high altitude. Most of the flocks, however, settled back on the water and became quiet after the initial blast of departures.

Since October 30, no one has detected any brant or cackling geese leaving the Izembek area and the brant have been relatively quiet.

On the evening of November 5, I was able to to see at least 27,000 brant from viewpoints at Grant Point and Outer Marker, plus I was told there was a massive flock of brant in Applegate Cove. Therefore, it looks like the main bulk of the brant are still at Izembek Lagoon. Unfortunately, our pilot is not available, so we will not be doing any aerial surveys during the migration period.

Stay Tuned: Our weather man has predicted a massive low pressure system will arrive at Izembek on Thursday, November 8. He predicts strong northwest winds (40-50 mph) throughout Thursday night and lasting until Saturday. The NW winds will extend all the way down to Washington. This storm system will also bring very cold temperatures. Therefore, we are predicting a massive departure of brant on Thursday and Friday nights (November 8 and 9). Everyone should be looking for brant arrivals over the weekend.

6 This morning on the low tide 43 brant geese flew in toward the pump house at Boundary Bay Regional Park, Delta B.C. Canada . In the afternoon on the rising tide, 6 brant flew in at about 13:10 They were far out in the bay but it was nice to see them using the area in spite of the NW wind. 5 adults and 1 juvenile.

Many people have come to see the large number (200) ancient murrelets seen at Light House Park, Point Roberts, Washington (and marbled murrelets, too, in smaller numbers). Someone MIGHT have seen brant there earlier then today. In past years they have been seen at Point Roberts at an early date before coming into Boundary Bay or between the causeways on the other side of Point Roberts.

Yours, Richard Swanston, Delta, B.C. Canada

7 Boundary Bay Regional Park Tsawwassen. There was a lot of noise from house construction along the edge of the bay.
Richard Swanston counted 196 brant but estimated another 25 or 30 brant in the Bay. About 11% were juvenile. He was able to read the leg bands on 6 brant including:
Black bands /59 and 64/ (pair)
Black K8E
Black 3KS
Aqua YEG
Green Y77 or V77? (on left leg)
And a bird with a radio transmitter and a metel band on the left leg


8 On Nov. 7, Range Bayer censused embayment areas at Yaquina Bay at 4 PM. He found that the number of Brant had increased to 18, since Janet Lamberson counted 6 on Nov. 1. They were at the shore edge feeding on native eelgrass (Z. marina) amongst hundreds of wigeon at the mudflats just
east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center. An adult Bald Eagle was perched not far away on a piling, and Brown Pelicans were floating
in the main channel not far away from them.

No Brant appear to be moving nearby along the coast. Phil Pickering did seawatches at Boiler Bay 13 miles north of Newport on Nov. 6 (7:15-8:30 AM) and Nov. 7 (7:00-8:30 AM). He saw no Brant flying by. He saw many other birds, including 4,000+ Pacific Loons flying south on Nov. 6.


9 Intermittent rain and 30-40 mph winds from the WNW today. I went out to the end of the Outer Marker Road to see what the brant were up to. Lighting was dim and lots of white caps, so it was difficult to see what was on the water. There was a massive flock of brant swirling around in at high altitude above the Pintail Lake area. It looked to be about 25,000 brant. Birds swirled around for about 20 minutes before it became too difficult to see. Went back to Cold Bay to see if I could hear any flocks flying over head, but rain too strong. Winds are supposed to switch to the NW tonight, so some of these brant may take off.

Kristine Sowl, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge

10 Location: San Ignacio Lagoon - Camp El Cardon.
We leave school at 4:00 pm. and went to El Cardon estuary. The weather was cold, N wind, a little cloudy. We arrive to the fishermen boats, and there was no Brant. A fisherman told us that Brant arrived about a week before this day. That makes us happy, because we thoght we won't see anything, but we keep looking. We wento to the oyster plant and saw an small group of 13 Brant far away from shore, but a boat passes bay and scared them. We saw so much trash on the shore.
GELSI - Team 1

Español;
Localidad: Laguna San Ignacio – Estero El Cardón.
Comentarios: Salimos de la escuela con rumbo al estero El Cardón a las 4.00 pm el clima estaba frío hacia viento del norte y el cielo estaba parcialmente nublado, llagamos a los varaderos de los pescadores y no vimos ninguna branta, un pescador nos platicó que las brantas habían llegado hacia como una semana, eso nos dio un aliciente para seguir buscando ya que pensamos que no veríamos ninguna branta, nos dirigimos hacia la planta ostionera, hay observamos un pequeño grupo de 13 brantas a lo lejos pero paso una embarcación y las espantó, lo que pudimos observar fue que había bastante basura a la orilla de la playa.
Atentamente / equipo 1


11 I went out to Izembek lagoon to see how many brant were left. Winds were mostly WNW last night, so not sure if that was enough of a tail wind for the brant. Estimated about 4400 brant near Grant Point, 1400 brant near Birdsall Island, and at least 5000 brant near Round Island. There was one flock flying at high altitude NE over the barrier islands of Izembek Lagoon, but it resettled back on the water. The tide was very high so it was not the best viewing conditions for brant (some would be roosting on the barrier islands and be too far away to see from the inside shore). It is unclear if any brant did take off last night.

12 The afternoon of Nov. 11, Roy Lowe of the USFWS counted 23 Brant on the mudflats just east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center Nature Trail.

No or few Brant are migrating nearshore. At Boiler Bay, about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay, Phil Pickering saw no Brant during a 2 hour morning seawatch on Nov. 9, only 4 Brant during a 3.5 hour morning seawatch on Nov. 10, and no Brant during a 2 hour morning seawatch on Nov. 11. Loons continue to dominate his seawatches with 2,500 Pacific, 500 Red-throated, and 70 Common Loons on Nov. 11.

13 There are still a huge number of brant present at Izembek Lagoon. I went out to the Outer Marker and Grant Point viewing areas about an hour or so before sunset. I could see 6600 brant in the Grant Point area, some on the Glen Island flats and a large flock on the water near Birdsall Island. There were also about 1200 emperor geese on the flats at Glen and Operl Islands. I saw a flock of 2500 birds and 500 birds southwest of Outer Marker. It was difficult to tell if these were all brant or a mixture of Steller's eiders and brant, since the two species do mingle in this area. There was a huge flock of birds north of Round Island (estimated to be more than 15,000 birds and probably mostly brant) and another huge flock (estimated to be 35,000 birds) between Round Island and Blaine Point. Within Outer Marker Cove, there was a flock of 100 cackling geese and about 60 emperor geese.

It is unclear if any brant took off over the weekend, but we still seem to have more brant than we would expect to overwinter here.

14 On Nov. 12, Phil Pickering saw 160 Brant flying during his 1.5 hour seawatch (average of about 107/hour) from 3:30-5 PM at Spanish Head in Lincoln City, Lincoln County, Oregon. Phil's seawatch of the ocean near Lincoln City started after a storm had gone through. In prior seawatches at Boiler Bay, he had not seen any Brant except for 4 during a 3.5 hours on Nov. 10 (see Notes for Yaquina Bay on Nov. 7 and Nov. 11).

The pulse of migrating Brant appears to have been short. On Nov. 13, Phil saw no Brant during a seawatch from 6:45-10 AM at Boiler Bay, about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay.

15 At least 3,000 brant came into South Humboldt Bay early Tuesday. Most left at daybreak on Nov 14 in one massive flock. A total of ~350 brant arrived Nov 1 and Nov 7, but are gone now (save the usual 50 or so residents).
Many more flew by the bay between Nov 1 and Nov 13 without coming in, as usual for the fall migration.
Regards,
Steve Rosenberg

16 On Nov. 14, Roy Lowe of the USFWS counted 38 Brant on the mudflats just east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center. As Roy notes, most of the 160 Brant that Phil Pickering saw during his Nov. 12 seawatch north of Yaquina Bay did not stop at Yaquina Bay.

The Brant movement along the coast appears to remain stopped, since Phil Pickering did not see any Brant during his 7-8:15 AM seawatch on Nov. 14 at Boiler Bay, which is about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay.

17 On Nov. 21, Range Bayer censused 101 Brant at the embayment areas of Yaquina Bay. On Nov. 19, Janet Lamberson noted 69 at part of the embayments on the Idaho Flats mudflats just east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Along the coastline, Phil Pickering did not see any Brant passing during his 7-9:15 AM seawwatch at Boiler Bay, about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay.

18 6 Brant observed on Oak Bay at 11am today. Sky clear, Temp 38 degrees. No wind.

19 Brant continue to slowly increase at Yaquina Bay. Late in the afternoon of Nov. 27, Janet Lamberson counted 131 Brant at Idaho Flats, the mudflats just east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center.

During a 7:15-9:45 AM seawatch on Nov. 27 at Boiler Bay, Phil Pickering saw only 2 Brant, and they were flying north! Boiler Bay is about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay. These Brant may have been flying to Netarts or Tillamook Bays to the north, the two other estuaries in Oregon where Brant overwinter. But it would be expected for Brant to be flying south now.


20 The weather was clear and cold with a light wind. At the first site (Camp Kirby) we saw surf scoters, gulls, grebes, and an unidentified very playful bird. We also saw a seal and a couple Kingfishers. At the second site (Samish Island), we saw bufflehead, scoters, grebes, gulls, and mergansers. An immature bald eagle glided right over our heads. At the third site (Swinomish Channel), we identified pintail ducks forming several large groups and lots of mallards. We also saw a great blue heron and several gulls. No brant today!

21 It was quite the series of high wind during several storms along the Oregon central coast during Dec. 2-3! Janet Lamberson counted 133 Brant before the storms on Nov. 30 at Idaho Flats, the mudflats just east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center. On Dec. 4, after the storms, she again counted 133 there, so the storms did not appear to have caused a change in the number of Brant at Yaquina Bay.

22

23 There was little wind and I had a good view of the entire estero with the scope. 117 seems a little low compared to December counts the last few years.

From 1952 to 1956 I used to see 2000 to 4000 Brant in Drakes Estero in December. On any December or January day one would see Brant flocks flying into the estero about every 15 minutes to 30 minutes all day. Now one can watch all day and not see a flock enter the estero. The local Oyster company owner tells me the Brant almost dissappeared from the estero in the early 1960s. I have never known why.
The habitat seems to have remained excellent to this day. There is little human or other disturbance and the eel grass beds are more abundant than in the other bays near by. Could oil spills have been the cause of the Brant dramatic decline? There has been oil residue in the sand of the Drakes Bay beaches for many years. The last oil spill on November 7, 2007 did not contaminate Drakes Estero according to the local oyster company representative, and I could not see any new oil residue along the shores of the estero.

24 On Dec. 10, Janet Lamberson counted 138 Brant at Yaquina Bay. So Brant numbers here are remaining pretty stable, since she counted 133 on Nov. 30 and again on Dec. 4.

25

26

27 Dear Brant-watchers:
Today we made our first Brant monitoring field trip, on "El Chaparrito" at Ojo de Liebre lagoon. The day was beautiful, and we find some birds like: Pelicans, Osprey, Gulls, Snowy egretts, and more.The tide was high, and soon we find out that the Brant arrived. They received us with their "song". they were happy, eating. There was about 1714 of them.

Comentarios: AMIGOS BRANTEROS: El día de hoy realizamos nuestro 1er. MONITOREO DE BRANTAS, en el área de Chaparrito Laguna Ojo de Liebre, nos toco un día precioso nos encontramos diferentes tipos de aves como: Pelícanos, águila pescadora, gaviotas, garcitas blancas, por mencionar algunas, la marea estaba alta pero de pronto nos encontramos con las Brantas YA LLEGARON nos recibieron con un canto estaban felices comiendo, en total observamos 1,714 Brantas.
Saludos. Marisol Aguilar Aguilar, Gabriel A. Zaragoza Aguilar. Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaíno (REBIVI)


28 Today was overcast and cool. At the first site (Camp Kirby), it was windy and the waves were big. We only saw a few bufflehead and grebes in the water. Four bald eagles were on the shore. At the second site (North Samish Island), we saw grebes, bufflehead, surf scoters, gulls, and pintail ducks. We were also lucky to see over 500 brant far from shore. The brant were grouped together and appeared to be eating. Lots of eelgrass was washed up on shore. At the third site (Swinomish Channel), we saw thousands of pintail and mallard ducks. Two bald eagles, some gulls, and a great blue heron were also present.

29 December 15, 2007. Cypress Grove Research Center water bird census.

30

31 On Dec. 21, Range Bayer counted 140-150 Brant at Yaquina Bay embayments. The other Dec. 21 count to the Observation Log of 300+ Brant at Yaquina Bay was not by "Yaquina Birders & Naturalists," as Range is posting for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists.

32

33

35 Cyprus Grove Research Center waterbird census. Cyprus Grove took three censuses of waterbirds in Tomales Bay this winter. This was the first census and was done on Dec 15, 2006.

34 English below) - Guerrero Negro, B.C.S., a 08 de Enero de 2008
Estimados amigos branteros: El día de hoy realizamos nuestro segundo monitoreo de brantas en la Laguna Guerrero Negro, dentro de la Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaíno, un día con mucho frío, observamos en total 2,377 brantas. Saludos del grupo REBIVI
Guerrero Negro , Baja California Sur, México, January 8th, 2008.
Dear Brant watchers: Today we made our second Brant survey in Guerrero Negro Lagoon, in the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve. A very cold day, we saw a total of 2,377 Brant. Greetings - REBIVI Group (REserva de la BIosfera El VIzcaíno)

36 During the Yaquina Bay Christmas Bird Count on Jan. 5, Kathy Merrifield counted 174 Brant at Idaho Flats, the embayment just east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

37 On Jan 8, 2008, Richard Swanston observed a pair of brant at Boundary Bay, Delta, BC, Canada with yellow leg bands. This pair has been seen in Boundary Bay for several years and has also been spotted in Birch Bay, Washington. They are true wintering residents of North Puget Sound and Southern Georgia Straights.
Due to human disturbances around Boundary Bay and the growing Bald Eagle population, it is becoming harder to observe brant resting on the beach.

38

39 At 8:40 AM the morning of Jan. 10, Janet Lamberson counted 166 Brant at Idaho Flats, the embayment just east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center at Newport. She noted "They were close in and well strung out along the water's edge. I got the same count before and after a Bald Eagle eagle spooked them - they all settled back down on the same beach area."
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists.

40 It was overcast and cool today. At the first site (Camp Kirby), we counted 40 brant far from shore. They formed a pretty tight group, and some of them had eelgrass hanging from their bills. We also saw bufflehead, mallards, and several bald eagles. At the second site (North Samish Island), we were able to identify a small group of 10 brant fairly close to shore. There might have been another group of hundreds more, but they were so far from shore that we could not tell for sure. We also saw two goldeneyes, buffleheads, surf scoters, grebes, and a cormorant. At the third site (Swinomish Channel), we didn't see any brant. We did see thousands of pintails and mallards and some widgeons.

41 Cypress Grove Research Center water bird census.

42 During low tide on the afternoon of Jan. 18, I counted an average of 182 Brant (range 177-184) at embayment areas at Yaquina Bay (Newport). All were at Sally's Bend, the embayment east of the LNG tank. During spring migration, Brant often show up west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, but I saw none there on Jan. 18. It was a great sunny day--a treat after so many rainy or cloudy days!
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists


43 Friday was clear and cold. At Bayview State Park, we saw about 200 brant on the other (western) side of the bay. At the other two sites (North Samish Island and Swinomish Channel), we couldn't postively identify any brant, but we did see goldeneyes, buffleheads, surf scoters, pintails, mallards, several bald eagles (juvenile and mature), and great blue herons.

43 The official count of brant wintering at Izembek Lagoon and adjacent areas this winter was 28,329 birds. Although this was a lower count than last winter, it was still considerably more brant than had overwintered here in recent years. It was a harsh winter with lots of snow and ice. Prolonged icing may have affected the wintering birds.

44 Jan 28, 2008. Boundary Bay, Delta, B.C. Canada. The wind was ENE at 7 knots rising to 10 to 12 knots, partly cloudy. The tide was about 11 foot and falling Fast. Perfect conditions for reading leg bands on brant at the Pump House Boundary Bay Regional Park in Tsawwassen. I arrived just after noon to see a flock of about 25 or 30 brant fly into the area. As usual, as I was walking up to their position bald eagles scared them off twice before I could get there. When I arrived, 2 bald eagles had perched on the electrical pole nearby. Finally the brant settled in and started to feed. Then they were disturbed by a photographer. Then more bald eagles. At about 12:30 a low-flying helicopter sent them flying about the Bay. The Helicopter circled low, scaring the brant for several minutes as it hovered and flew about. Nervously, the Brant settled long enough for me to count 224 brant, of which 25 were juveniles. A good number of grey-bellied brant were among them. I was able to read the leg bands on 8 of these brant geese.
Yours, Richard Swanston, Delta B.C.


45 On Feb. 4, I counted 165 Brant at Yaquina Bay embayments near low tide. I also surveyed the area west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, where Brant often appear during spring migration, and I saw none.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.


46 Today was wet, windy, and cool. At Bayview State Park, we saw buffleheads and loons, but the waves made it difficult to see many birds. At the second site, North Samish Island, we saw lots of surf scoters and some more buffleheads. In the distance, we could make out a small group of 6 brant. There were probably many more, but we couldn't tell for sure. We also saw a seal. At Swinomish Channel, we saw a lot of pintail and mallard ducks. It was raining too hard to stay very long.

47 Cypress Grove Research Center water bird census.

48 English below
Observador: Iván Manríquez
Localidad: Ensenada, Baja California, México
Comentarios: Hoy recibí la visita de Ralph Lee Hopkins, fotógrafo, quien está haciendo un recorrido por la península de Baja California recopilando imágenes para un artículo de revista. Visitamos la zona de la Lagunita del Ciprés, donde hace dos temporadas observé un par de brantas por varios días. Este avistamiento fue ocasional, pues durante mis visitas al lugar, por varios años, nunca las había visto. De cualquier modo, he seguido visitando el lugar para ver si vuelvo a ver brantas. Este año tampoco las miré. Pero hace unas semanas (el 7 de enero) había en el lugar un ganso canadiense (Branta canadensis) que al parecer solo estuvo un par de días en el lugar.
Visitamos también la zona este del estero de Punta Banda, al sur de la ciudad de Ensenada. Se trata de una marisma con abundante vegetación, pero tampoco observé brantas. En la parte oeste del estero (en la barra arenosa), he observado brantas también en años anteriores, incluso una que al parecer permaneció en el lugar todo el año. Prometo visitar de nuevo el lugar, para estar pendiente de las brantas.

Location: Ensenada, Baja California, México
Observer: Ivan Manriquez - Pro Esteros.
Comments: Today, Ralph Lee Hopkins visit us on our office. He is a photographer, working along the Baja California peninsula. We visit “Lagunita del Ciprés” (a little sweetwater lagoon), where I observed two brants on june 2005. This was an occasional sighting. I’ve been visiting this lagoon for many years and I’ve seen Brant only on 2005. A few weeks ago (Jan. 7th) there was a Canadian Goose, that stayed for two or three days.
After this, Ralph and I visited the Punta Banda Estuary (south of Ensenada), but we didn’t see any Brant. This is a salt marsh with lots of vegetation, but none Brant. On the past I’d seen Brant on the west part of the estuary (including one that we think stayed there year-round), I’ll visit the place and keep looking for Brant.


49 On Feb. 15, I counted 173 Brant at Yaquina Bay embayments as well as American and one male Eurasian Wigeon. West of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, where Brant are often only found during spring migration, I did not see any. I saw two male Harlequin Ducks on the north side of the Bay, west of the Bridge--they are normally seen on the south side.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists


50 Partly cloudy
Wind Calm
Temp 45
Number seen 325+ in the bay and along the Indian Island beach

51 Today was sunny and the water was pretty calm. We saw buffleheads, surf scoters, loons, mallards, pintails, goldeneyes, mergansers, widgeons, gulls, herons, and eagles. In Samish Bay, we saw about 50 brant that we feeding on eelgrass. They were closer to the shore than the ones we had seen in previous weeks.

52 Español: Llegué a la laguna de San Ignacio llevando la caja de la branta. Alrededor de las 4:30 p.m. me detuve a la entrada de la laguna y a lo lejos pude observar un grupo de aproximadamente 110 brantas alimentándose de pasto marino.
Iván Manríquez - Pro Esteros, A. C. - Coordinador de Educación Ambiental
English: I arrived to San Ignacio Lagoon with the Brant Care Package. At 4:30 pm, I was in the lagoon, at the east side, and far away I saw a group of about 110 Brant feeding on eelgrass.
Iván Manríquez - Pro Esteros, A. C. - Environmental Education Coordinator

53 Español: Por la mañana, a las 7:30, miré un grupo de 57 brantas frente al campamento Kuyimá. Más tarde, visité el campamento de La Freidera, donde observé 40 brantas alimentándose. También tres pelícanos parados sobre una panga y algunas aves playeras que no me detuve a identificar. Este mismo día visité un tercer sitio: El Cardón. Aquí conté aproximadamente 300 brantas, algunas muy cerca de la orilla. Además había 3 ibis blancos, aves playeras, un par de cormoranes y algunos pelícanos.
Iván Manríquez - Pro Esteros, A. C. - Coordinador de Educación Ambiental.
English: At 7:30 am, I saw a group of 57 Brant in front of Kuyima Whale Watching Camp. Later I went to La Freidera Whale Watching Camp, and I saw 40 Brant feeding. Also I saw 3 pelicans standing on a boat, and some shorebirds, but I didnt stay to identify them. Then I went to another site called El Cardón - there's an oyster plant there. Here I counted about 300 Brant, some very close to the shore. There were also 3 white ibis, shorebirds, a pair of cormoratns and some pelicans.
Iván Manríquez - Pro Esteros, A. C. - Environmental Education Coordinator.

54 On a low tide near Fossil Point, I observed a mixed flock of 200 American Widgeon and Lesser Scaup. Numbers of ducks on the bay appear to be increasing, but no sign of Brant so far. Several Great Blue Heron and Horned Grebes were also seen.

Tom Gaskill
South Slough NERR

55 Today was partly sunny and mild. We saw mergansers, buffleheads, and loons in Padilla Bay. In the south part of the bay, there was a large raft of brant-we estimate 1400. The tide was out, and they were sitting near the edge of the water.
In Samish Bay, we saw mergansers, surf scoters, buffleheads, loons, and a few beautiful harlequin ducks.


56 Today, we saw buffleheads, mallards, loons, mergansers, and goldeneyes in Padilla Bay. In Samish Bay, we saw surf scoters, mergansers, loons, and we think a few long-tailed ducks. There were about 1000 brant in the bay. Most were near the opposite shore, but some were relatively close to us and we could see them feeding on eelgrass.

57 Guerrero Negro, B.C.S., a 03 de Marzo de 2008
Estimados amigos branteros: El día de hoy realizamos nuestro tercer monitoreo de brantas en la Laguna Guerrero Negro, dentro de la Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaíno, observamos en total 449 brantas.
Saludos del grupo REBIVI

Dear "Brant-watchers": Today we made our third field trip this year, to Guerrero Negro Lagoon, in the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve. We saw 449 Brant. Greetings from REBIVI Group.



58 Brant are moving at Yaquina Bay! On March 4 at noon, Janet Lamberson counted 165 Brant at Idaho Flats, the embayment mudflats just east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center. At about 4 PM near low tide when native eelgrass was available for them to feed on at embayments, I only counted 1 Brant at Idaho Flats and none at the other Yaquina Bay embayments. However, at about 4:30 PM, I counted 169-179 Brant at the west side of the Yaquina Bay Bridge feeding on algae on or along the northern rock shelf. They were moving and not in an easy to count line, so I don't consider there to be a significant difference between Janet's and my counts. Their almost complete absence at embayments and en masse appearance west of the Bridge, where they have not been reported earlier this winter and where they are often seen during Spring migration, is a sign that Brant are moving around at Yaquina Bay.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists

59 warm weather has brought new arrivals to south humboldt bay. i observved one flock near the beach this am that had over 5000 birds in it. it was a 0.0 tide. at noon, the entire bay was dotted with brant and many were on the sand spits jutting into the bay just as the tide was covering them. prior to this the winter population had been thinning out. the spring migration from baja is beginning its wave which peaks here about one week prior to the solstice and continues for several weeks thereafter.


60 At 12:45 on March 10, Janet Lamberson counted 168 Brant on a rising 4.8-ft tide at Idaho Flats, the embayment just east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

61 Today was rainy, but very calm. We saw brant from three different locations. There were about 100 brant on the west side of Padilla Bay and a very large raft of 2000 or more brant on the south side. We also saw pintails, mallards, buffleheads, loons, mergansers, and about 30 great blue herons.
In Samish Bay, we saw about 500 brant on the east side of the bay. Other birds we saw: mergansers, loons, harlequin ducks, buffleheads, and surf scoters.

62 A cold windy and rainy storm from the south made visibility on the bay somewhat limited. I was able to see 3 brant far out on the bay with several common loons, a red-breasted merganser, and several bufflehead. The location near Empire Dock is a new one for me, although an experienced birder had seen brant in that location the previous day. We have also had reports of the brant farther up the bay than in past years.

63 425 Scattered in Oak Bay
Also about 100 out at Ft.Flagler park
Report of 12 near Ediz Hook, Port Angeles

64 The location at Pigeon Point on Coos Bay is a common area for finding brant during migration. The individuals were spread out in three somewhat distinct groupings of 25,8, and 100 birds. All were dabbling in the shallows along the shoreline of the receding tide. Conditions are still very windy and rainy squalls with calm periods in between.

65 Fossil Point is also a common location to find brant during their spring migration through Coos Bay. These individuals formed a tight flock and were moving along the shallow water covering a rocky promontory that has interlaced beds of sea lettuce and eelgrass.

66 On March 14, Janet Lamberson saw 110 Brant at 9 AM on a +6 ft falling tide at Idaho Flats to the east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center. "They spooked and all flew off to the northwest," perhaps to their area west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. At 12:18, when the tide was +0.6 ft and near low slack, Janet counted about 165 Brant west of the Bridge on their "refuge" on the north side of the channel. "That count was from a photo - my field estimate was 155, but they were moving around." Using a photo is a great idea! Counting them from a photo is more accurate and easier than when they are bunched and moving!
At 4:20 PM (tide height of +3.2 ft and rising), I roughly estimated about 200-250 Brant near the northwest end of the Bridge, but they were in fairly tight flock and moving in different directions. My counts of 225 and 233 in blustery winds were only rough estimates.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

67 Reported to CALBIRD by Deren Ross, Auburn, CA.

68 Today was a fair day for Brant band reading. At Rathtrevor Provincial Park there were just over 2000 Brant and the tide was perfect. If the wind had been blowing about 70 kph less it would have been absolutely excellent. But, you can't have everything.

Of the 50+ bands I read today, the most exciting was the Russian Brant. Today's sighting marks the 5th consecutive year that this bird has been recorded in the Parksville-Qualicum Wildlife Management Area. I first saw this bird in Parksville Bay back in March of 2004. It was banded in July of 2003 on the Lena River Estuary in Russia. Because Brant in that part of Russia look exactly the same as Brant here on the Pacific coast, it's unknown whether this was one of our birds which ended up in Russia somehow, or if it is a bird of Russian origin that somehow made it to North America. The bird has been noted as being paired with an un-banded Brant in the past, but today it appeared to be alone. According to the banding office, It's not known where this bird nests now, as it has not been reported from the breeding grounds since it was banded.

Guy L. Monty
Whiskey Creek, BC, Canada

69 The 165-182 Brant repeatedly counted at Yaquina Bay during January-March 10 were mostly gone this afternoon! At 4:30-5 PM at embayment areas, I only counted 5 Brant at embayment areas and 21 west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on north side of the channel. The tide was low and native eelgrass was available for them to eat at embayments. There also appears to have been a herring spawn near Coquille Point at the eastern edge of the Sally's Bend embayment with a raft of at least 500 scoters and Buffleheads bunched like they do after herring spawns, but no Brant were there. In the past, Brant sometimes fed at herring spawns.

71 During a high tide around 11:30am today, I located small flocks of brant near Fossil Point and just to the north. The weather was clear and sunny after a morning of heavy rain and there were many loons, grebes, scoters, scaup, and widgeons out on the water. As I headed north along the shoreline, I used a scope to view across the bay and counted at least 100 brant in a very loose line along the deep channel where ships navigate. This channel has been proposed to be deepened and widened to allow larger ships importing liquefied natural gas and containers. The brant may have been dabbling at rafts of eelgrass and algae that form along the edge of the channel as the tide pushes up the bay.

72 (English below)Estimados amigos branteros, el día de hoy realizamos nuestro quinto monitoreo de brantas en la Laguna Ojo de Liebre, dentro de la Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaíno, observamos en total 72 brantas. Saludos.

Dear "Branters" today we'd made our fifth survey on Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, in the "El Vizcaíno" Biosphere Reserve. We saw 72 Brant.
Greetings

72 Thanks to Steve Rosenberg. I spent the day at the Point Arena Light House watching Brant and Grey Whales migrate. Saw several small and one large flock of Brant. Sighted 8 whale spouts and one good view of a whale on the surface. The wind was light and the ocean fairly smooth.

Rod Hug
Santa Rosa, CA

70 Two flocks of Brant were flying north over the open ocean in the vacinity of Fort Ross, CA. One flock contained 150 - 250 birds. The second flock, following about 10 minutes behind the first flock, contained about 350 - 450 birds.

My son and I were driving south on Hwy 1 afer a day of birding at Point Arena when we spotted the Brant. Highlight at Point Arena was a Peregrine Falcon. All the Tundra Swans that winter at Point Arena had left.

Rod Hug
Santa Rosa, CA

73 Sighted 30 Brant in the south end of Tomales Bay near the town of Invernes. Its unusual to see Brant in the south end of Tomales Bay. I had spent the day at the Point Reyes Light House watching for migrating Brant. Did not see any. There was a strong NW wind. The day before I had seen two large migrating flocks when I was not really looking for them. But on that day the wind was calm. Not sure if Brant migrate more during calm days.

At Point Reyes I saw two porpoise moving south around the point. Also there were about 100 female Elephant Seals on the beach. There were only two bulls among them. Many hundreds of Surf Scooters were rafting up in Drakes Bay seeking shelter from the wind.

74 Today I had a red banded bird at Rathtrevor, so there are still at least two around!
This one was Right - Red - H35 This bird had been seen quite a few times in the Parksville - Qualicum area over the years, starting way back in April of 1993. I believe this bird was banded in 1992? The Lena River bird was at Rathtrevor today as well.

Brant numbers here have dropped by 50% over the past two days, likley due to an extreme shortage of food. However, the first band I read this year way back in early February, is still here and has recently gained .5 on the abdominal profile index. I did see one bird I rated as a 3 today. Most birds are still looking like 1's or 1.5's. It would also seem that the birds are more apt to flush this year, and I wonder if it's because there is so little food to anchor them to any one particular spot? Disturbance from Bald Eagles, humans, dogs, aircraft etc, is as bad as I have ever seen it. It's rare to get more than 5 minutes in anywhere without a flush. This is by far the most challenging season I have had out here.

Guy L. Monty
Whiskey Creek, BC

75 At 3 PM on March 20, Janet Lamberson saw a flight of approximately 120 Brant flying to the northwest from the Idaho Flats embayment area east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center. A small flock of 5 returned and landed at Idaho Flats. So there are still some Brant at Yaquina Bay, but it is not known if any of these are part of the 165-182 here during January-March 10.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

75 (English below)Estimados amigos branteros, el día de hoy realizamos nuestro quinto monitoreo de brantas en la Laguna Ojo de Liebre, dentro de la Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaíno, observamos en total 10 brantas. Saludos.

Dear "Branters" today we'd made our fifth survey on Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, in the "El Vizcaíno" Biosphere Reserve. We saw 10 Brant.
Greetings

76 wow. a huge migration has accompanied the moonlit nites and light southerlies the last several days. south humboldt bay is literally all brant. my estimate could have been low. my observation point was halfway down the sandpoint separating bay from sea. the largest cocentration was in the southern third , where i estimated 15000 in one flock alone. there was not one place on the bay unsprinled with brant.

76 (English below)Estimados amigos branteros, el día de hoy realizamos nuestro quinto monitoreo de brantas en la Laguna Ojo de Liebre, dentro de la Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaíno, observamos en total 40 brantas. Saludos.

Dear "Branters" today we'd made our fifth survey on Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, in the "El Vizcaíno" Biosphere Reserve. We saw 40 Brant.
Greetings

76 (English below)Estimados amigos branteros, el día de hoy realizamos nuestro quinto monitoreo de brantas en la Laguna Ojo de Liebre, dentro de la Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaíno, observamos en total 70 brantas. Saludos.

Dear "Branters" today we'd made our fifth survey on Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, in the "El Vizcaíno" Biosphere Reserve. We saw 70 Brant.
Greetings

77 Weather was stormy with a strong wind blowing from the south. My son and I went out to North Spit, a long stretch of sand and forest that separates the bay from the ocean. We located 6 brant on the lee side of a small, sandy island near the end of the airport runway. There were also about 30 gulls and some other diving ducks in the area. This area underwent eelgrass planting in the 1990s to replace eelgrass beds that were destroyed when the airport expanded. This is called mitigation. Seemed to be an attractant to these birds.

78 On March 21, Janet Lamberson counted 112 Brant at Idaho Flats (east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center), on March 22, Jeremy Henderson was able to count 89 Brant at embayments before the flock took off and he estimated perhaps another 40 Brant, and on March 24 at 5 PM Janet estimated 110-120 Brant at Idaho Flats. So Brant numbers here are now holding steady.


79 i glassed all of south humboldt bay from various spots on humboldt hill this am. estimated 16000 brant, so some have left since saturday, when my estimate of 25000 was made.from now on outflight normally exceeds inflight. this season has been the highest winter brant use of this bay for over 10 years. i have not made a count of north humboldt bay for sometime, usually 3000-4000 birds is the peak count there, however use of that part of the bay has been increasing since the elimination of oyster dredging on the eelgrass beds there. also saw a mature bald eagle sunday and a curlew. the ospreys are back and fishing on the half tides.the aleutian canada geese are thinning out. the high count was about 50000 circa mar 1.to observer rod hug- i have seen brant migrating in all sorts of weather. they can make headway against very strong winds.in the fall they prefer a north wind after a southerly storm. in the spring, it doesnt seem to matter as much, as that migration is leisurely and more strung out.

80 The weather today is a bit rough with temperatures in the 40's (Fahrenheit)and periods of intense rain, wind, thunder, and even hail. Yesterday morning a cold steady breeze was blowing from the east and the overnight temperatures were below freezing. There is a snow advisory in the coastal mountains, which is uncommon for this time of year.

The bay was active with many seabirds and waterfowl about. Flocks of 30-50 western grebes, American widgeon, and scoters were on the move as well as loons, and other ducks. The Brant were located near Pigeon Point with a few at Fossil Point. I also observed a Bald eagle in flight and several Pigeon guillemot have returned to the docks near Empire.

81 These brant were seen on the water at Pigeon Point. The weather conditions were very windy, rainy, and cold. The bay had whitecaps and the brant were staying close to shore. Of 5 observing locations, this was the only site where I saw brant.

-observer, Tom Gaskill, South Slough NERR

82 Russ Namitz reported a large group of Brant feeding at low tide just west of Fossil Point. Birds were not scrutinized for juveniles or banded birds due to lack of time.

83 At Brinnon, Jefferson County, WA (along the west side of Hood Canal) I had a very brief glimpse of at least 3 Brant amidst a flock of at least 50 waterfowl. (More than 3 of the waterfowl may have been Brant; my view was very brief and I wasn't able to return for a better look.)

84 At Ayock Beach, Mason County, WA (along the west side of Hood Canal, at about milepost 321.5 of highway 101, which is about 5 miles north of Lilliwaup), I viewed a flock of at least 100 Brant.
A non-data point is that I drove highway 101 along Hood Canal on March 28 and observed no Brant.
Jamie Simmons, Corvallis, Oregon.

85 I watched a flock of 100 brant in flight over the water between Fossil Point and Pigeon Point this morning. The tide was high and the weather has finally cleared. The temperature, however, is still unseasonably cold, reaching freezing in the early morning hours.


-observer, Tom Gaskill, South Slough NERR

86 Russ Namitz & high school students, Tom Gaskil & Joy Tally observed 450 Brant in Coos Bay. Most of the birds were concentrated just north, but still visible from Fossil Pt. It was a clear, sunny morning. Loons, grebes & bay ducks were out feeding.

88 On April 3 at 7:30 PM, Janet Lamberson found 230 Brant grazing on the rock shelf north of the channel and west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. On April 4, I counted a total of 269 Brant--I observed 129 Brant at Yaquina Bay embayments east of the Bridge at about 5:30 PM and 140 Brant west of the Bridge on the rock shelf at 5:45 PM. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists

87 It was a cold day with a strong NW wind.

89 Still have 325+ Brant feeding at low tide, Oak Bay. Counted 30 juvs. Some look very thin.

90 This morning while preparing to go to work, I observed 230 Brant foraging at the waters edge on the rocky shoreline of Fossil Point (in front of my home). Brant can be observed foraging at this location most of the day time hours this time of year. The winds were calm and so were the birds.

Colored plastic and silver metal bands were visible among those birds walking about on the intertidal flats. I did not attempt to read bands this morning.

Mike Graybill
Charleston, Oregon

91 Russ Namitz & his high schools students recorded 407 Brant in Coos Bay. Five birds were at the Empire boat ramp, 2 birds were seen at the Empire waste water treatment plant and approximately 400 birds were opposite of Pt. Adams. The tide was low and many people were out clamming. The weather was subpar with wind, rain & fog limiting visibility.

92 Birding out at Ft. Flagler on Marrowstone Island we found 78 Brant feeding along the shoreline.

93 Today was calm and partly cloudy. In Padilla Bay, we saw lots of loons and buffleheads. Samish Bay was filled with mergansers. There were also loons and surf scoters. We may have seen some brant in both bays, but they were too far away for us to be sure.

94 On April 11 at about 11 AM, Range Bayer counted 45 Brant at Yaquina Bay embayments and 123 west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on the north side of the channel near the rock shelf. At 3 PM, Janet Lamberson counted 50 Brant at the Idaho Flats embayment east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center and estimated about 110 West of the Bridge on the north side rock shelf.

95 At low tide about 5:30pm 375+ Brant gathering. Largest group here in a while and likely staging to fly north, as last few days the largest group has been about 200 Brant.

96 On April 15 at 12:40 PM, Wayne Hoffman saw a flock of 120 Brant flying north past Yaquina Head, just north of Newport along the Oregon central coast. Wayne noted that they were about 200 yards offshore.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists

97 The afternoon of April 15, Wayne Hoffman observed "close to 100 Brant" on the west side of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on the north rock shelf. At 6:30 PM, Janet Lamberson counted 159 Brant there by counting Brant in her photograph. Using a photograph helps a lot when Brant are close and moving. So the number of Brant there changed during the day.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists.

99 On April 17, Janet Lamberson counted (by photo) 187 Brant on the rock shelf northwest of the Yaquina Bay Bridge - they were restive and kept flying up and around in circles before settling back down. A smaller group that was among them had split off and headed north over the Yaquina Bay north jetty before the count of 187.



98 Sorry for the late posting. Last Thursday, Russ Namitz & high school students counted approximately 786 Brant with over 500 located at one stop (Cape Arago Hwy overlook). A few breeding-plumaged Common Loons are lingering as are some Red-breasted Mergansers & Greater Scuap, but many birds are starting to move north as well. The weather was mostly clear with sunshine.

100 We visited three sites today. In Padilla Bay, we saw a total of about 900 brant in the south and south east parts of the bay. The tide was pretty low, and some of the brant were feeding on an exposed eelgrass bed. We also saw a small group of brant in Samish Bay where the water was pretty rough. Other birds we saw in the water today: loons, buffleheads, lots of mergansers, surf scoters, mallards, and herons.

102 In Ocean Park, WA (near Willapa Bay), Janet Lamberson saw flocks of 50 or so Brant flying north early in the morning on April 19 and 20 (one flock observed each day). The flock on April 19 were over the surf, while the flock on the 20th were flying over the dunes. (Submitted by Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists)


101 On April 16 at about 2:30 PM, Wayne Hoffman saw a string of 9 Brant flying north past Yaquina Head, which is a headland at the north end of Newport. The Brant were about 50 yards offshore and down close to the water. At Idaho Flats in Yaquina Bay, Janet Lamberson counted 52 Brant.

On April 19, Phil Pickering and Wayne Hoffman counted 190 Brant along the ocean during an 8-9:45 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay, about 13 miles north of Newport. This is a rate of about 108/hour. On April 19, Wayne Hoffman also noted 40 Brant, 45 Brown Pelicans, and 15 Caspian Terns along the ocean at Yaquina Head.

The Brant movement was much less on April 20, when Phil Pickering only saw
2 Brant during his 7:45-8:45 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay. The weather was cold with a "light snow turning partly sunny."
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists.



103 For the last observation in April, Russ Namitz and his high school students observed 420 Brant in Coos Bay, mostly at the Cape Arago Hwy overlook. The weather was mostly cloudy with light wind. Bald Eagles have been seen during the last 2 weeks.

104 On April 24, Janet Lamberson estimated about 200 Brant at the northwest side of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on or near the rock shelf.
On April 25, I counted no Brant at Yaquina Bay embayments and 174 at the northwest side of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on or near the rock shelf.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists


105 the brant have really thinned here,but the "laties" persist, no doubt because this is the coldest spring ive seen since the early eighties

107 Brant Migration update for Izembek Lagoon:

We have been experiencing a major influx of brant in the past week. This influx is later than normal, probably due to the cold temperatures. We had two days of record cold temperatures last week and there is still some ice present on freshwater lakes. We had some snow showers yesterday.

The migration notes are as follows:

28 April -- Thomas Siekaniec reported an influx of brant to the Izembek Lagoon area during the evening. From about 6:00-8:00 p.m., he watched flocks of brant fly north over Cold Bay towards Izembek Lagoon. Flocks were flying at high altitude and descended steeply as they reached the north end of the bay. Flocks ranged in size from 10-60 birds. Flocks were spaced about 10 minutes apart and arrived in a steady progression. Winds were 15-20 mph from the west at this time (had switched from more northerly winds earlier in the day).

29 April – Jim Smith reported flocks streaming north over Cold Bay towards Izembek Lagoon. Flock size ranged from 5-50 birds. Flocks were spaced 10-15 minutes apart. Flocks arrived in a steady stream from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., but he did not notice any arrivals during the afternoon. Jim Smith also reported seeing a huge influx of gulls, with groups arriving all day long. Winds were from the north at 10-20 mph for most of the day and visibility was less than 2 miles.

30 April – Chris Dau from Migratory Bird Management observed several small flocks of brant flying north over Cold Bay while surveying for emperor geese between Thin Point and the town of Cold Bay.

3 May – Thomas and Sandra Siekaniec observed multiple flocks of brant flying from the north to the southwest over Cape Glazenap at Izembek Lagoon. Flocks ranged in size from 50-100 birds. Thousands of brant were flying around low over the water in northern Applegate Cove. Three or four flocks of brant were observed flying NE to SW over Grant Point. Additionally, two flocks of cackling geese (each 20 birds) were observed flying NE to SW over Grant Point. Winds were from the north or northwest at 15-20 mph during the day and light snow occurred during the afternoon.

4 May – Jim Smith reported seeing a few flocks of brant flying north over Cold Bay towards Izembek Lagoon.

5 May – Jim Smith reported seeing a steady stream of brant flocks flying north over Cold Bay during the morning. Flocks were spaced 10-15 minutes apart and ranged in size from 5-80 birds. During the morning, flocks flew from south to north over Cold Bay. After 11:00 a.m., flight paths shifted and became east-southeast to north-northwest. He saw one flock of 300-400 birds. Brant continue to arrive this afternoon. Winds are light and variable (less than 10 mph).


106 The number of Brant has increased slightly the past several days. Tonight a large group of over 425 are feeding on the beach at Oak Bay, Low tide, Temp 51, Partly Cloudy.

108 On April 24, Phil Pickering did not see any Brant during his 6:45-8:15 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay State Park along the coast and about 13 miles of Newport.
On April 26, Wayne Hoffman only saw 1 Brant that was on the water about a mile out during his 6:30-8:30 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay.
On April 29, Phil Pickering counted 64 Brant during his 6:45-8:30 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay.
On April 30, Phil Pickering saw 35 Brant during his 6:30-8 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists


109 A survey of the bay this morning revealed some brant at several locations in loose flocks intermingled with surf scoter, lesser scaup, and waterbirds such as loons. The weather was overcast and a bit warmer than it has been. One bald eagle was also observed at rest on a gravel bar, perhaps after feeding. The brant were dabbling on eelgrass at two locations and resting along the shore on North spit near a harbor seal haul out that was inhabited by 8 seals and a flock of cormorants.
- observer, Tom Gaskill

110 The weather was overcast and moderate with calm water on the bay. The brant were grouped in two flocks. One flock of 42 birds was dabbling in shallow water near a cobble and sand bar and the other 14 were further out in the water near the area of Coos Bay called Pigeon Point.
- observer, Tom Gaskill - South Slough NERR


111 5/1 Oak Bay, WA: Watched appx 100 Brant fly north at sunset
5/2 Oak Bay, WA: appx 175 Brant. Watched appx 100 Brant fly north at sunset
5/3 Oak Bay, WA: 75+ Brant remain at 11am low tide

113 On May 1, Janet Lamberson saw 26 Brant on the rock shelf northwest of the Yaquina Bay Bridge at 3:20 PM.
On May 2, Phil Pickering saw no Brant during his 7:00-8:00 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay State Park along the coast and about 13 miles of Newport.
On May 3, Wayne Hoffman saw no Brant during his 6:40-7:10 and 7:45-8:30 AM seawatches at Boiler Bay.
On May 4, Phil Pickering and Wayne Hoffman saw no Brant during their 6:15-8:15 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists



114 On May 3 at Boiler Bay (north of Yaquina Bay), Wayne Hoffman saw 0 Brant during his seawatches at 6:40-7:10 AM and 7:45-8:30 AM.
On May 4, Phil Pickering and Wayne Hoffman saw 0 Brant during their 6:15-8:15 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay, Noah Strycker & Karl Fairchild found 40 Brant at the Yaquina Bay South Jetty in the afternoon, and Wayne Hoffman noted 80 Brant flying north past Yaquina Head at 2:30 PM.
On May 5 at Boiler Bay, Phil Pickering saw 16 Brant during his 6:15-8:30 AM seawatch.
On May 6, Phil Pickering counted 49 Brant during his 6-9 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay, and Janet Lamberson spotted 38 Brant on the rock shelf northwest of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists

115 The brant were located across the bay from Fossil Point near North Spit. They formed a tight flock and seemed to be restless. Weather here has been overcast and cool although the conditions are similar to summer when fog sits over the bay. Winds have been from the NW and at times fairly gusty which may signal the beginning of an upwelling event.
observer - Tom Gaskill, South Slough NERR

116 count is for southern 2/3 of south humboldt bay only, the north wind is screaming this am. tide, minus 2.2 feet.teperatue 47 degrees, the same as the sea

117 30 brant arrived at the Tutakoke River colony on the YKD today. These are the first ones of the year. Chris Nicolai PhD Student - Waterfowl Ecology Waterfowl Biologist for the Nevada Waterfowl Association Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology University of Nevada Reno 1000 Valley Rd. Reno, NV 89512 Office :(775)784-6393

118 During seawatches at Boiler Bay State Park about 13 miles north of Newport, Phil Pickering saw 130 Brant during 6-10:45 AM on May 7 and no Brant during 6-8:15 AM on May 8 and 6-7 AM on May 9.
During spring migration, some Brant regularly drop out from flights and land along the coast line near Newport. This spring is no exception with Kitty Brigham seeing 3 Brant on the ocean beach near Seal Rocks on May 6 and 5 Brant on the beach near Ona Beach State Park on May 8 and Ram Papish counting 8 Brant at Otter Rock tidepools on May 9.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists


119 Time for another brant update from Izembek Lagoon. Brant continue to move into and out of the Izembek Lagoon area. The general pattern is for flock movements in the morning and lesser numbers and less activity during the evening. Specific observations are as follows:

8 May – Thomas Siekaniec saw approximately 2,500 brant flying around the Grant Point area of Izembek Lagoon between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. They were generally in flocks of 10-30 birds. There was a lot of bird activity at this time. Some birds were coming from the Round Island area, flying past Grant Point, and headed towards Applegate Cove. Some flocks appeared to be descending from a high altitude in the Neumann Island area. After lunch, Thomas reported that he saw only 200-300 brant near Grant Point and the activity level was much lower. At 7:00 p.m., I observed only two flocks of brant (80 and 70 birds) at Grant Point. The tide was extremely low and a lot of eelgrass was exposed.

9 May – I observed approximately 600 brant in the Grant Point area of Izembek Lagoon at 11:00 a.m., but only 80 brant at 7:40 p.m.(again it was low tide). Several flocks were observed flying north or northwest over Cold Bay during the day.

10 May – It was a rare calm morning and an absolutely beautiful day for Cold Bay, but still chillier than normal (35 degrees Fahrenheit in the morning, but reaching a whopping 47 degrees at mid-day). There were at least 3,000 brant in Applegate Cove and they could be heard from more than 2 miles away (near Bluebill Lake). I spent two hours (10:00 to 11:50 a.m.)at Grant Point in central Izembek Lagoon watching the brant and other birds and looking for brown bears. I estimated that there were approximately 13,330 brant visible from Grant Point. Flock size ranged from 50-6,000 birds. The largest flock occurred in Applegate Cove. The birds were restless and moved around frequently. Flocks were also arriving from the south. A number of flocks flew over Grant Point towards Applegate Cove, but some flocks moved in the opposite direction. Sometimes they passed directly overhead and I attempted to capture these flocks with my camera. It was an incredible morning.

At 2:25, I made a visit to Kinzarof Lagoon, which is about 3 miles south of Izembek lagoon. It has its own eelgrass beds and is also frequently used by brant. Although the tide was low, I spotted only one flock of 12 brant in the west end of the lagoon.

I made a trip out to Outer Marker at 6:15 p.m. It is not easy to spot brant in this area if visibility conditions are poor because Izembek Lagoon is about 1 mile away. I could see about 1,150 brant between Round Island and Outer Marker, but the heat shimmer on the lagoon reduced visibility considerably and I may have missed other flocks.

I returned to Grant Point during the evening. This time, I saw approximately 3,750 brant. The tide was dropping but still about mid-tide.

11 May – Several thousand brant (>3,000) were observed at Grant Point during the afternoon. I didn't have a chance to get a good count of the birds as I was escorting several visitors. As the tide began to drop, the brant began to move from their roosting areas on the flats inside the barrier islands to the coves around Grant Point. Again, a number of flocks flew directly overhead.

Kristine Sowl
Cold Bay, Alaska

120 On May 10 & 11, Wayne Hoffman saw 22 Brant in the Coquille Estuary (south of Coos Bay, Oregon) in the "sort of rocky lagoon just east of the south jetty
parking area." Wayne also saw 3 at Crescent City (California) the morning of May 11. (Reported by Range Bayer)

121 also observed several bunches of grater scaup

122 On May 11, Phil Pickering counted 8 Brant during a 6:00-6:45 AM seawatch at Boiler Bay State Park north of Yaquina Bay.
On May 13, Range Bayer found no Brant at Yaquina Bay embayments and west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
During spring migration, some Brant drop out along the coastline. Some appear to linger for a few days like this year. South of Yaquina Bay between Seal Rocks and Ona Beach, Kitty Brigham counted 3 on May 6, 5 on May 8, 9, & 10; and 6 on May 11, 12, & 14.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists

123 Here is the latest installment of brant notes for Izembek Lagoon:

11 May – Several thousand brant (>3,000) were observed at Grant Point. The tide was rapidly dropping and brant begin to move into the Grant Point area from other areas of Izembek Lagoon. A number of flocks passed back and forth over the Grant Point peninsula. The KTUU Channel 2 news team from Anchorage was visiting Grant Point and got some footage of these brant flocks at this time. Go to their website at http://ktuu.com and look for the story titled "A Dividing Line, part 2" in their Alaska News Section to see some of this footage.

13 May – Eric Johnston, a pilot for PenAir, saw a flock of 50 brant flying north through the saddle between Frosty Peak and Baldy Mountain towards Izembek Lagoon.

15 May – John Arkley estimated that there were 500-1000 brant in Kinzarof Lagoon. There were also 15 emperor geese in Kinzarof Lagoon. Jim Smith saw about 6 flocks of brant (averaging about 50 birds each) flying north over Cold Bay towards Izembek Lagoon. Eric Johnston saw of flock of 50 brant flying from Belkofski Bay, through Lenard Harbor, and out towards Cold Bay.

17 May – Kristine Sowl visited Grant Point during the afternoon and observed approximately 6075 brant in Applegate Cove, 6000 brant in Norma Bay, 570 brant on Glen Island sand flats, and 360 brant on the eelgrass beds north of Grant Point for a total of 13,005 brant visible from Grant Point in central Izembek Lagoon.

18 May – John Arkley observed a flock of 30 brant flying north over the Blaine Point area. He thought this was an incoming flock of migrants. He also said there were several thousand brant visible in the distance near NE Neumann Island.


128 The first egg of the year was found this past Monday, May 19th at the Tutakoke River colony by Mandy Walker and her field techs.

129 The 3-6 Brant that Kitty Brigham had found on the ocean beach north of Seal Rocks (which is south of Yaquina Bay) during May 6-14 had been gone a "few days" by May 17.
On May 19, Janet Lamberson counted 20 Brant west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge at 2:40 PM. The next day at 8:15 AM, Janet only found 2 there.
(Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists)

130 From Oregon Birders On Line: Blake Matheson found 60-80 Brant on Tillamook Bay (Oregon) on May 19, and, on May 22, Vern DiPietro found "found 16 Brant at the tidal area, East end of the North Jetty, Siuslaw River, Florence [Oregon]." Brant overwinter at Tillamook Bay, but not at Siuslaw River Estuary. (Posted by Range Bayer).

131 Brant migration appears to be winding down at Izembek Lagoon. Here is the latest update:

21 May – John Arkley saw a huge number of brant in Applegate Cove and Norma Bay, especially near the mouths of the streams that drain Frosty Peak during the evening (tide was low but rising). He estimated that there were at least 10,000 brant visible.

22 May – Kristine Sowl observed only a single flock of 30 brant foraging in west Kinzarof Lagoon at low tide.

25 May – A bear hunter traveling via boat from Moffet Lagoon to Grant Point observed only 5 brant in Izembek Lagoon. Kristine Sowl hiked own to the mouth of Frosty Creek in the afternoon, but did not observe any brant in SE Applegate Cove. There was a flock of 150 brant SW of Grant Point during the evening.

26 May – Kristine Sowl did not observe any brant in northern Applegate Cove or in the Grant Point area.


132 s0uth half of south bay

133 Reports from the Tutakoke River Colony this morning are bleak. Preliminary reports are reporting large numbers of arctic foxes on the colony and expectations are for a bust year for production similar to 2001 and 2003.

135 just scoped again i5 more have joined the 7

134 south half of so bay.these appear to be the last of the mohicans, so i will probably sign off til oct. i appreciate all the observations. allows one to see without seeing. ye blessed creatures, i hear the call ye to each other make. the heavens laugh with you in your jubilee- my heart is at your festival. by the way, on the other end, i believe john arkley is a humboldter also!


MONITORS |  LOG |  EXHIBITS |  CURRICULUM |  LINKS

Return to Top of Page