International Brant Monitoring Project
Observation Logs:


2011/2012 Observations

Date Location Observers Count Percent Juveniles Notes
Sep 27 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge n/a n/a 1
Oct 20 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 0 NA 2
Oct 27 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 8 3
Oct 28 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge n/a 17.6% 4
Oct 29 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 87 15% 5
Nov 1 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 38 6
Nov 3 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 13 7
Nov 3 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 0 n/a 8
Nov 3 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 6 30
Nov 5 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 43 9
Nov 5 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 510 26% 10
Nov 6 OTHER OTHER 6 13
Nov 10 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 0 n/a 12
Nov 11 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 30-34 14
Nov 11 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 80 11
Nov 12 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 10,000 n/a 16
Nov 14 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 15 15
Nov 15 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 5,000 n/a 17
Nov 16 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 350=400 18
Nov 16 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 0 n/a 19
Nov 17 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 1000 21
Nov 18 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 2000 n/a 20
Nov 20 Bodega Bay, CA Rod Hug 1100 22
Nov 21 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 20 23
Nov 25 Tomales Bay, CA Rod Hug 0 24
Nov 30 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 200 28
Nov 30 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 1000 26
Dec 1 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 250-300 n/a 27
Dec 8 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 50 29
Dec 14 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 150-200 n/a 31
Dec 22 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 54 na 32
Jan 1 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 1 1 42
Jan 1 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 1 1 40
Jan 1 Izembek Lagoon, AK Izembek National Wildlife Refuge 1 1 41
Jan 5 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 209 37
Jan 11 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 0 0 33
Jan 16 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 27 n/a 34
Jan 27 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 600-750 n/a 35
Feb 2 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 365 to 415 n/a 36
Feb 4 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 409 39
Feb 10 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 700-750 n/a 43
Feb 16 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 437 44
Feb 16 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 7500 45
Feb 22 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 100 NA 46
Feb 23 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 1225 51
Feb 24 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 80 n/a 47
Feb 28 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 105 6 52
Mar 1 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 2,135 n/a 53
Mar 3 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 139 55
Mar 3 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 196 NA 56
Mar 3 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 350 NA 57
Mar 4 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 181 54
Mar 14 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 75 NA 59
Mar 16 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 180 n/a 58
Mar 23 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 2000 n/a 61
Mar 24 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 260 60
Apr 2 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 1600-1800 n/a 62
Apr 5 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 266 63
Apr 5 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 1324 n/a 65
Apr 9 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 5000 64
Apr 12 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 375 66
Apr 14 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 89 na 67
Apr 20 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 640-800 n/a 68
Apr 21 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 246 69
Apr 23 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 2700 70
Apr 24 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 5000 71
Apr 27 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 210 n/a 72
Apr 28 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 212 73
May 1 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 200 74
May 2 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 750 75
May 4 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 300 n/a 76
May 25 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 38 n/a 77
Jun 6 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 55 78
Jun 14 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 11 79


Notes:

1 The first brant were observed returning to Izembek Lagoon around August 18. There are many thousands here now. It is nice to have them back--it was too quiet when they were gone. We will begin conducting counts October 1. I will pass along numbers and dates as they become available.

Chris Peterson
Refuge Wildlife Biologist

2 While I didn't see any brant this morning, lower Coos Bay was thick with geese, ducks, and shorebirds. Several thousand Canada geese and hundreds of Mallards, American Widgeons, Northern Pintails, and American Coots were mingling in large flocks between Pigeon Point and Sand Point. Closer to Pigeon Point a large mixed flock of several hundred shorebirds including Black-bellied Plover, Dowitchers, and Western and Least Sandpipers was feeding along the shore. Many gulls were also in the area including small winter gulls like the Mew gull and Bonaparte's gull.

The weather was partly cloudy and cool at about 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tom Gaskill, South Slough NERR

3 I'm sorry. I was out of the office last week when this note arrived from Richard.

Alex

Oct. 27th 2011 the first brant of the fall season have arrived at Boundary Bay today with 8 birds seen too far out in the Bay to tell it any are juvenile. There have been a few brant that spent the summer here about but only about 4 at the start of summer and only one has been seen recently. It was in poor condition. So these must be the first birds of the fall season!  There is a front forecast for tomorrow so there could be more on the way  Today was mirror calm with a big high tide late in the afternoon.
 
Yours  Richard Swanston  Delta  B.C.

4 Here is the note I received from Niels Dau on October 28:

Alex,

Responding to your Brant question. We finished up with the age ratio counts last week. I came down from Anchorage to run around the lagoon with Chris and the rest of the Izembek crew. Just over 20000 birds were classified and our Juv % was 17.6%. Lower than last year by a couple of percentage points and also lower than the long term average which is 22.5%. I am also working on the Report summarizing the data, if you like I can send you a copy of that draft when I finish. Birds began departing 10/22 through 10/25. I realize this may be old news for you since they have likely already been detected on the west coast.

Niels Dau
Seasonal Biologist
Migratory Bird Management

5 87 brant , 13 of which were juvenile (15%).  No high arctic brant were seen, all were black brant. No bands were seen, not even a metal band was seen.

Richard Swanston Delta . B.C. Canada, via Alex

6 these were seen by friends and were gone the next day-

7 my first personal observation-a lovely sight

8 It was a beautiful fall day for the first Brant Monitoring field trip of the year with Conway School's 6th grade. Although, despite great enthusiasm and diligence at the spotting scopes by Ryan, Stephano and Kathy, we did not see any Brant. We were able to see lots of other birds though, including many Great Blue Herons, Sand Pipers and Red-Tailed Hawks.

Era un día linda de otoño para el primer viaje de Brant Monitoring del año con Escuela de Conway. Aunque, a pesar de gran entusiasmo y la diligencia con los prismáticos de Ryan, Stephano y Kathy, nosotros no vimos cualquier Brant. Sin embargo, pudimos ver muchas otras pájaros como muchas garzas cenizas, escolopácidos, y ratoneros de cola rojas.

30 In eBird.org, I discovered that Tim Johnson found 6 Brant near the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center at embayments east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge on Nov. 3. On Nov. 7, I looked carefully but did not find any Brant at Yaquina Bay embayments where they usually overwinter.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

9 saw 1 flock and later 5 separate birds-dont know if they had been part of the 43-note- a commercial fisherman observed many flocks flying south 6 miles out several days ago- this may mean the ist wave has bypassed humboldt bay-which is not uncommon in bluebird weather- it has turned very cold here in the last week but the storminess has been light.yesterday was our first southeaster.there are many pintails this year.

10 Sat. Nov. 5th 2011. Arrived at the Pump House at Boundary Bay Metro Vancouver Park in Delta  B.C. Canada at 10:44. Wind was ENE at 8 knots. Clear sky and the tide was rising fast at about 9 Feet. Water fowl once again covered the surface of the water in the northwest part of the bay making it very hard to count brant. Later I counted 89 brant close to the pump house, 21 of which were juvenile (26%). In the afternoon I counted 127 brant at this site (14% juvenile).

Dogs and people frequently disturbed the birds while I was watching even though there is a sign that says, "Metro Parks Wildlife Reserve." Many dogs were allowed to run with out being on a leash and some dogs were actually encouraged to chase birds! Several Dog owners wore boots and walked the high water mark where waterfowl and shorebirds concentrated on the north side of the Bay. One couple walked all the way to 72nd Street clearing the whole area with their dog. Then just as the brant were starting back to shore two dogs ran out and chased off thousands of ducks, brant geese and shorebirds.

At 11:30 as the wildlife started to return a women walked out with an infant until they were just far enough to send hundreds of waterfowl out into the bay. She pointed to the flying birds then turned back.
 
From 15:45 to 16:02 I was at the B. C. Ferry Terminal Causeway on the other side of Point Roberts. There I counted  510 brant geese. I also counted over 251 western grebe. There were so many waterfowl on the water it made this count difficult.

Richard Swanston  Delta  B.C.

13 Tillamook Bay on northern Oregon Coast, where Brant normally overwinter. Barbara & John Woodhouse wrote: "Our first Brant arrived on Tillamook Bay on Nov. 6th, seen from the parking lot on the Bayocean Spit."
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

12 On our second outing with 6th graders from Conway School, we did not see any Brant. However, Acalia, MacKinzie, Sienna and Tiffany did spot hundreds of Mallard Ducks, Pintail Ducks, Gulls and Snow Geese. We were also lucky enough to see a Bald Eagle ripping apart its next meal and some Blue Heron. It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun but we hope the Brant make their way down here soon.

14 On Nov. 11, I estimated 30-34 Brant in a tight, skittish flock at Sally's Bend, an embayment east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. There were none elsewhere. They arrived sometime during Nov. 8-11. I had looked several times in late October and early November, including Nov. 7, and did not see any Brant at Yaquina Bay, but I did not look during Nov. 8-10. On Nov. 11, there were also 3 Cackling Geese without white rings at the base of their necks on the water at Sally's Bend; they are unusual there.

Phil Pickering has done seawatches of waterbirds flying by Spanish Head (Lincoln City) and/or Boiler Bay north of Yaquina Bay during late October and each day during Nov. 1-4, and Nov. 7-9. He only saw Brant on Oct. 31 (14) and 1 Brant flying north on Nov. 1. In past Brant migration seasons, he has often seen Brant fly by.

Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

11 several flocks came in this am and were intimidated quickly away by the holiday shooters and crabbers without much damage to them-the weather remains benign here- there are many coots, grebes, loons and pintails this year

16 This past Saturday when I went out to the Lagoon there were still
some brant easily visible, maybe around 10,000. There were some
really good strong west and northwest winds over the weekend, and
yesterday afternoon when I went out there were only about 4-5,000
visible. BUT it was extremely choppy and difficult for viewing. And
again last night the winds were NW. So I am guessing that maybe
all, or nearly all, are down your way already. I will check again, but
maybe all that are left here are our winter-overs.

If I see otherwise I will let you know. Glad there are folks who
are interested in and care about our wildlife!

Chris


Chris Peterson
USFWS
Izembek National Wildlife Refuge
Refuge Wildlife Biologist

15 while looking at the humboldt bay entrance yesterday afternoon, which was a maelstrom, i observed a flock of brant come north out of south bay and head out the entrance just above the 15 foot breakers and through the mist and fog against a brisk wnw wind as easily as if there had been no wind at all- they disappeared in the fog near the end of the jetties as they escaped into the mountainous sea.

17 As reported earlier, only about 4-5,000 brant were seen but it was extremely choppy and difficult for viewing. Maybe all, or nearly all, are down your way already and left here are the ones who will stay here for the winter.

Chris Peterson
USFWS
Izembek National Wildlife Refuge
Refuge Wildlife Biologist

18 about 200 brant arrived on nov 15-overnited in the bay- and left mid morning due to hunting pressure-later in the afternoon several flocks entered and i observed several migrating flocks fly by just offshore without entering the bay-by evening they had all vanished-the weather was dead still=the scoters were migrating too

19 Today, Amy, Leah, Tyler, Gabe and Adam did not see any brant. We did see a lot of ducks though, including hundreds of Mallards, 2 Surf Scoters, some Northern Pintails, Wigeons and Buffleheads. We also spotted a few Glaucous-winged Gulls, some Cormorants, 2 Blue Heron, a Bald Eagle and a coyote! We all had fun despite it being a little windy, chilly and rainy.

21 finally having significant migration-mountains covered with snow-ocean 20 feet

20 The first gray belly brant were seen at Boundary Bay. On the west side of Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal 790 were spotted and to the east of the terminal there were 276. Another 1020 were seen at Boundary Bay Metro Park and 76 more could be seen off the eastern point.

22 About 1100 Brant were in Bodega Bay today, which is about double the number usually there. Bodega Bay has the highest density of Brant, in terms of numbers of birds per acre, of the bays in this area. Yet Bodega Bay also has the most human development around it. And, of the three bays that support Brant in this area, Bodega appears to have the least food supply. I believe that intense clam digging over the years has severely reduced the eel grass beds.

The seemingly ironic thing is that Drakes Estero has the fewest Brant but the best habitat – that is, if good habitat means abundant of eel grass and almost no human presence.

I have wracked my brain trying to understand why Drakes Estero supports so few Brant while Bodega and Tomales bays support sizeable Brant flocks. During the 1950s Drakes was winter home to 2000 to 4000 Brant.

For what it’s worth, one possibility is that Coyotes may have increased at Drakes and decreased at Bodega. I do not see any Coyote tracks in the sand at Bodega but I see many of their tracks at Drakes. It may be that since Drakes Estero became a wildlife sanctuary as part of the Point Reyes National Seashore, Coyotes have increased, and at Bodega they have declined in response to increased human development.

Also seen today: about a dozen White Pelicans, several Brown Pelicans, and large numbers of Golden Eye. The ocean was emerald green in the shallows and a dark blue (almost purple) further out to sea. It was raining on the horizon, with the appearance of thunderstorm cloud bases. The surf was larger than normal at about 6 to 8 feet.


23 intense hunting pressure and other human activity drove the birds away this weekend-windsurfers disturbed the remaining 20 yesterday afternoon-to rod hug- the brant are safe in bodega-but then again hunting is no longer allowed in drakes-but i dont think coyotes are the problem-i believe it is simply a change of habits- maybe because winter hunting is no longer allowed in humboldt the returning birds fly directly here-we have a redeveloped winter population here now- in the thousands beginninng right after the brant season closes in december-and increasing to 15-25 thousand in march-morro bay is also loaded-both these bays have huge amounts of eelgrass

24 The bay was glassy clam and the weather warm. A perfect day for counting Brant, having a picknic, or just relaxing by the sea. But there were no Brant. Maybe shotguns scared them off to the north where they find sancutary at Bodega Bay. It would not be the first time.

Thanks to Steve for the comments.

Hundreds of Golden Eye were in the bay today. On the way home we stopped at the fresh water Laguna between Marshall and Petaluma. We counted 71 Mute Swans. These are wild swans that stay local and have been increasing in numbers.

28 Roy Lowe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service counted 200 Brant at Idaho Flats, the mudflats east of the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center. It is one of the Yaquina Bay embayments east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge where Brant overwinter at Yaquina Bay.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

26 the north wind was blowing at daybreak and the sea rough. from 7am to 10 am i saw 20 flocks of brant come from the south and every one entered the bay via the entrance.several flocks were 100 to 200 strong.some were taken by hunters throughout the day along the barrier sand spit, which the birds were loathe to fly over.

27 Aidan, Peter and Baxter of Conway School saw 250 to 300 brant today! We were able to see them at all three of our monitoring sites, some were flying by and others were sitting in large groups near the shore. It was a great day for brant monitoring, with clear skies and a smooth bay, although a bit cold. We were also able to see at least 10 bald eagles, lots of ducks, some Great Blue Herons and large clumps of eelgrass on the shores.

29 Today, Jaedin, Maurilio and Brenden braved the cold, windy weather to watch for brant. We were able to spot approximately fifty brant quickly flying over the water, in a few different flocks. We also were able to identify some other birds, including snow geese, northern harriers, bald eagles and mallards.

31 Elly, Emily and Jordyn spotted 150 to 200 brant today. At the north end of the bay we saw some brant that were up close enough to easily see and count and then many more were sitting much further out, which made them difficult to count. We saw more brant at our monitoring location at the south end of the bay as well. These were flying in a large flock of roughly 60 brant. On our trip we also saw thousands of mallards and pintails, along with red-tail hawks, herons, cormornants, snow geese, widgeons and buffleheads. Additionally, we spotted hundreds of trumpeter swans, which we thought were the most beautiful.

32 Yesterday at pm high tides I saw appx. 54 brant at Ft. Flagler state park about 5 miles north of Oak Bay.

As of today, Dec 23, I have had NO brant sightings here at Oak Bay. Is there a general slowness of southward brant migration this year?


42 Hi Alex,

This is Janae from Mindfly. Could you please send me an e-mail at janae@mindfly.com to confirm that you have received this form submission?

Thank you very much!

-Janae

40 Test

41 Test

37 All Brant were at embayments east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. None were west of the Bridge, where they show up during spring migration. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

33 Kyle, Landon and Dawson did not see any brant but they did spot two adult and many juvenile bald eagles. They also saw about 35 great blue heron sitting together on one small island. Unfortunately, many of the birds were being scarred off today by hunters in the south end of Padilla Bay.

34 Finally a small group of 27 Brant flew on shore at low tide just before sunset today. This was my first brant sighting for the winter at Oak Bay. Several other birders and Oak Bay residents reported first sightings of similar sized flocks about a week ago.

Weather was partly cloudy, temp 43 degrees, with no wind.

35 It was a windy and cold day but the sun was out and we spotted a lot of birds! Mirella, Emma and Brooke saw between 600 and 750 brant. At the first location, Camp Kirby, we spotted about 350 brant swimming close to shore and eating eelgrass and pebbles. We saw about 300 more brant at the south end of the Padilla Bay. These ones were further off shore but appeared to be eating as well.
We also saw many other birds today including 7 red-tailed hawks, 23 great blue herons, 11 bald eagles, 800 snow geese, 400 trumpeter swans and 200 northern pintails.

36 Today was a sunny and partly cloudy day with light winds and a high tide. In all we saw about 365 to 415 brants. Our first location was a sight near Camp Kirby where we saw 350 to 400 brant swimming in long lines with ducks. The brant were bobbing up and down eating eel grass. In between the long lines were clumps of brant. These brant were hard to count because they were so far away and so close together. Also at the beach we saw a blue heron sitting on the shore near us and an eagle sitting on top of a log eating another bird.
The second place we went was behind the Northern Light Casino. At this place we saw about 15 brant. Some were flying around and landing on the place they started. This place was on a spit out in the water loaded with thousands of ducks. The brants were mostly spread out and a little easier to count. At this place on two separate spits we saw about 18 blue herons crouching forward with their backs to us.
-Observed and written by Sierra H., Oliva O., and Sarah H.

39 Brant migration appears to be underway! At Yaquina Bay, Brant usually only appear west of the Bridge during spring migration, and 2-15 were noted west of the Bridge along the South Jetty in water or onshore grazing on grass during Jan. 22-27 by Wayne Hoffman, Roy Lowe (USFWS), and others. During my count on Feb. 4, I counted an average of 409 Brant (counts of 404 and 413) at east Sally's Bend in Yaquina Bay embayments east of the Bridge, and none west of the Bridge. But 409 is a major increase from the 209 I counted on January 5 (numbers were lower prior to then). Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

43 At the north end of the Padilla Bay, we saw about 650 brant eating eelgrass and floating on the water. The brant were far off and often were clumped together in groups of fives. The brant were moving constantly but not moving in any certain direction. We also saw cormorants , mallards and eagles in this location. At our second location, at the south end of Padilla Bay, we saw about 70 brant. These brant were preening and sitting on shore.
-written and observed by: Jacob, Cole and Savanna

44 What are Brant doing elsewhere along the Coast?

At Yaquina Bay, I counted 437 today along the eastern side of Sally's Bend, one of the embayments where they customarily winter, east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. I did not find any west of the Bridge where they often are during spring migration. My count is not significantly different than on Feb. 4 when I found 409 at embayments, but these counts are up substantially from my counts in November and early January with no more 209 Brant, so there has been a substantial influx here in the past month. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

We are looking forward to reports of whether Brant are migrating elsewhere!

45 not so many birds these last two winters- appears to be many new arrivals today-i have not checked north bay ,however, where the eelgrass has recovered significantly

46 I observed 100 brant feeding along the bay near Pigeon Point. The weather was finally clearing after a very wet and cool couple of days. These are the first brant I have seen on the bay so far this winter in a large flock and may be the first influx of the northward migrants.

Tom Gaskill, South Slough NERR

51 Richard Swanston continues to see thousands of brant geese at Boundary Bay in Delta B.C. He has seen many banded birds and has been able to read many of them. On this day, he spotted L7T or L71 and his notes show that there were several observations of a band L7T on 11/21/11 in this same area. He also spotted a bird with the band VA7 who seemed to have both of its wings damaged.

47 Today was the cold and VERY windy, but we were able to see about 80 brant. We started the day at the northern end of Padilla Bay. It is there that we saw our 80 brant, as well as 4 bald eagles and 7 gulls. The brant were huddled close together and many flew to different areas of the bay. One group of brant were quite close to shore and some even came up on a nearby sand bar. We also went to Bayview State Park and the southern end of Padilla Bay but did not see any brant in these locations.
Observed and written by: Sarah B., Josephine J-P, and Emily J.

52 105 Brant today feeding at low tide. This is the largest group I've seen this season. Seven of the 105 were juvs.
Weather was 38 degrees, wind speed 28 mph sustained.

53 Today was windy and partly cloudy and the tide was between high and low. The final total of brant we saw was 2,135. We saw a lot of brant on the south end of Padilla Bay, about 2,000 brant. Some of the brant geese were on the sandbar and some were in the water. We also saw 135 brant on Samish Island. They were in some big groups, others were close to shore and others were out there a ways. We also saw 3 adult eagles and one juvenile bald eagle, which was cool. This day was amazing!
Written by: Nicole
Observed by: Nicole, Raney, and Sean

55 The evening of March 3 at 5:30, Laimons Osis counted 137 Brant west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, feeding along the north side. An additional 2 Brant were in the water along the South Jetty near where they have been upland, feeding on grass. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists.

56 The Birds on the Estuary group on Saturday morning held an excellent fieldtrip with over 35 species seen along the shores of Coos Bay. One of the highlights were our observations of Brant on the bay near Pigeon Point. We watched several Brant mingling with a large flock of scaup, scoters, and bufflehead to the south and we suspected more Brant around the point. Our suspicion was confirmed by Mike Graybill (see second report for the day), but the majority of our Brant were found about 1 mile north of where Mike was watching.

57 Mike Graybill reported seeing these birds at Fossil Point on lower Coos Bay.

54 Brant numbers at Yaquina Bay embayments east of the Yaquina Bay dropped down to 181 from 437 on Feb. 16, so Brant are moving. I did not see any in the water west of the Bridge, where they often appear during spring migration, but 2-4 Brant have been frequently reported grazing on grass on the upland ground of the Yaquina Bay South Jetty from Jan. 22 through Feb. 26 by many observers (15 were there during Jan. 25-26). Brant are rare here in the uplands. On Feb. 18, Wayne Hoffman saw a sign of migration, when a flock of 40-45 Brant flew north over the Yaquina Bay North Jetty and kept going. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

59 We had snow on the coast this week! I counted 75 Brant near Fossil Point on lower Coos Bay and a small flock of 40 or so Red-necked Phalaropes swimming near the shore. The Brant were dabbling in eelgrass at the edge of the channel and the Phalaropes were looking for isopods and amphipods in the wrack.

Tom Gaskill, South Slough NERR

58 In all of the three areas we visited, we saw about 180 brant. We saw most of the brant geese at Camp Kirby, many were eating eelgrass or gravel and were close to shore. The weather was cold and windy. We also saw about 100 trumpeter swans and 10 bald eagles.
-Written and observed by Miguel, Ramon, and Brandon

61 There are still thousands of brant being seen around Delta, B.C., many of which are Western Arctic brant. Some banded brant have also been identified including: 9EZ, 9KA, 26L, R42, 5KE, 3NL, and A5L.

60 On March 3, Wayne Hoffman counted 82 Brant in the water west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge and on the bay side of the North Jetty. On March 3-4, he saw 2 Brant either on land near the South Jetty Road or in the water nearby.
On March 24, I counted 260 Brant at embayments east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge but none west of the Bridge.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon


62 A brant goose was observed at Boundary Bay Metro Vancouver Park Tsawwassen. It appeared to be equipped with a surgically implanted radio and an exterior antenna. It was also mounted with a yellow band on its right leg with a black code U99. Chris Nicolai, a regional migratory bird biologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, knows that this bird was banded in 1999 and believes the radio was put on at this same time.

63 I counted 266 Brant east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge at intertidal embayments, where Brant have overwintered. I did not see any west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge where they often show up during spring migration.
Wayne Hoffman also did a seawatch at 7:15-7:50 AM at Boiler Bay State Park that is about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay and counted 18 Brant flying north along the coast. Later he also did a seawatch for several hours at
Yaquina Head that is about 3.5 miles north of Yaquina Bay and counted 38 Brant flying north. So some Brant are migrating north along the coastline here.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

65 The number of brant geese appearing with oil on them at Boundary Bay, Delta B.C. has increased to 4. There are three birds who are severely oiled and another bird marked less severely with oil that have all been seen repeatedly in this area.

64 the mid-april secondary wave has been arriving for several days-i have always surmised this to be the mainland mexico population-my count does not include north bay-but i have seen some there within the last week-it is too big to scan without a spotting scope and several observation points-the razor clams are biting on these last tides and i saw a flock of brant yesterday morning migrating north near trinidad about 20 miles north of south bay.while i was clamming

66 It was a warm, windy, partly cloudy, sunny day. The first stop was at Camp Kirby. We saw about 150 brant, which was at about 11:30AM. The brant were floating and far off shore. The water was flat with a medium tide.
Our next stop was at the south end of Padilla Bay at 1:50PM. It was a little more windy but still sunny. We saw approximately 115 brant. Some of the brant were flying and some were eating gravel. They were all close to shore. We also saw 18 great blue herons and about 70 gulls. We also saw 3 hawks and 7 red-breasted mergansers. Throughout the whole day we saw approximately 375 brant.
Written and Observed by: Kennedy C., Jessica C., and Chloe C.

67 The weather has been pretty rainy and stormy for the past couple of weeks. On Saturday, the weather broke and I finally saw some Brant in small flocks near Fossil Point and Pigeon Point. Two small groups of about 30 birds were moving back and forth along the shore and occasionally feeding on eelgrass.

Tom Gaskill, South Slough NERR

68 Started at Camp Kirby on Samish Island and ended behind the casino at the entrance to the Swinomish Channel. Conditions were sunny, warm and the wind started to kick up at the end of the day. 640 to 800 brant were seen. They were feeding, finding good pebble and swimming. Some brant were closer than others and only one brant was on shore. He was preening his features. We saw some other species of birds like eagles, hawks, herons, common loons, red-breasted mergansers, buffleheads and of course brant. The tide was slack when we left Camp Kirby and we came to the casino it was starting to come in. We saw some evidence of people and there was eelgrass washed up on shore. The scopes worked out great for spotting brant a distance out there. All together it was a great trip!
Written and observed by: Ryker W., Jack J., and Vincent V.

69 I found 246 Brant in a flock at the embayments east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge where Brant overwinter. There were none west of the Bridge, especially on the Rock Shelf at the northwest corner of the Bridge where they have regularly showed during spring migrations in other years. The light was good for me to examine the Rock Shelf and I could see not see piles of green algae there as has occurred there during previous spring migrations. Wayne Hoffman notes that he has seen Brant on that Rock Shelf in spring when they were feeding on green algae. Lots of shorebirds moving through!
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists

70 Between the ferry and the coal port causeway, approximately 1600 brant were observed and between the ferry and the Tsawwassen Bluffs Point Roberts Washington, about 1100 brant were observed.
There were also 6-8 Western Arctic Brant seen in the area and one more brant was seen with oil on its feathers.

71 the brant have been coming and going here for several weeks. another large influx arrived over the past few days. i saw a flock of about 1000 on a sand point and eelgrass area between north and so. bays on sunday.yesterday am on the minus tide, i counted about 5000 in the eelgrass swales in south bay.i did not look at north bay.

72 The first location was Camp Kirby. The day was windy, with a little bit of sun. Pretty much chilly outside. We spotted many kinds of birds but mostly brant! We saw about 200 brant, at this location. They were far away. We saw a lot of human activity, which was affecting the brant.
At our second location, the entrance to Swinomish channel, it was a little warmer than the first location. There were a lot of herons. We saw about 10 brant. They were a little closer to the shore. We also saw a couple eagles.
By: Isabel, Kenia, and Cristal


73 On April 28, I counted only 4 Brant east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge where Brant wintered and 208 Brant west of the Bridge near the Rock Shelf at the north end. It is unclear if these are remnants of the wintering population or migrants.
Brant have been migrating north along the coastline. During seawatches at Boiler Bay State Park (which is about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay), Phil Pickering counted 44 Brant passing during 6:15-8:00 AM on April 24 and 79 Brant passing during 6:30-7:15 AM on May 1.
On April 30 along the southern Oregon Coast, Roy Lowe of the USFWS reported "We had large strings of Brant passing Cape Arago today."
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

74 most of the brant have left humboldt bay now- this coincides with the cape arago observations of april 30- this is about a 4-5 hr flight for them (200 miles)the latest i have seen a migratory flock here is memorial day weekend

75 the north wind is not blowing this am and there are more brant left than i thought so this corrects my yesterdays observation-however they have thinned out considerably-there are quite a few scaup left, they are the latest of the ducks to migrate here, also some scoters and loons

76 On May 4, 2012 Alyssa, Emma, and Lindsey saw 300 brant at Samish Island/Camp Kirby and 100 great blue herons at Bayview State Park. We saw 15 gulls at the entrance to the Swinomish channel. The weather was sunny, then cloudy and the rain stopped right before we started counting brant. It was a great experience watching birds that we never even thought about. Now I think of birds so much differently.
By: Lindsey, Emma, and Alyssa




77 Today, with a stiff 15 Knot NW wind, clear sky, and the tide at 11.5 feet, 38 brant were on the Compensation Lagoon. I imagine nesting is in full swing in Alaska. Why these guys are hanging out here this late is a mystery to me.

Wednesday May 23, 2012: 41 Brant were out on the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal Compensation Lagoon this A.M.

May 18th 2012: 127 brant were counted off the container dock at Delta Port.

May 15th 2012: 73 brant were counted near Compensation Lagoon, 38 were between the coal and ferry causeways and 22 were off toward Point Roberts Washington.



78 this is the latest i have seen a sizeable flock here. i figure they can still make it to the y-k in time to breed, but i might be wrong- they were just inside the humboldt bay entrance near the pge plant-the ocean here is full of chinook salmon-also saw a northern loon almost in breeding plumage- the bay eelgrass flats were alive with egrets on the minus 2 ft. tide

79 Diane Pettey & Mike McDermet observed a flock of 11 Brant in the Siuslaw River Estuary at Florence (Lane Co.) the morning of June 14. Florence is about 50 miles south of Yaquina Bay (Lincoln Co.). A few Brant often sporadically are found in June, but none have been reported in Lincoln County so far this June.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon


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