International Brant Monitoring Project
Observation Logs:


2013/2014 Observations

Date Location Observers Count Percent Juveniles Notes
Oct 14 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 29 1
Oct 23 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 135 66
Oct 25 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 39 2
Oct 27 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 0 6
Nov 1 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 5 40 3
Nov 1 Padilla Bay Reserve staff 0 4
Nov 2 Morro Bay, CA Jack & Jean Fanselow 95 11
Nov 2 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 210/hour 5
Nov 2 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 200/hour 7
Nov 2 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 36 8
Nov 3 Morro Bay, CA Jack & Jean Fanselow 228 12
Nov 3 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 497 >19 9
Nov 3 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 43 10
Nov 8 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School >300 13
Nov 15 San Diego Shirley Doell 54 11 14
Nov 15 Bodega Bay, CA Rod Hug 52 15
Nov 15 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 0 16
Nov 15 Coastal Baja, Mexico Pro Esteros 49 8 17
Nov 19 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 158 24
Nov 21 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 0 18
Nov 26 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 237 17% 19
Dec 6 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 700 20
Dec 8 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 1 NA 21
Dec 10 Bodega Bay, CA Rod Hug 150 22
Dec 13 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 258 23
Dec 14 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 316 2% 25
Dec 17 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 33 0 26
Dec 26 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 550 8.82 27
Dec 28 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 190 35
Dec 30 Padilla Bay Reserve staff 2819 n/a 28
Jan 6 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 1500 29
Jan 9 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 0 0 30
Jan 16 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 180 0 31
Jan 23 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 700+ 34
Jan 24 Tomales Bay, CA Rod Hug 300 33
Jan 24 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 84 n/a 32
Jan 26 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 221 36
Feb 6 San Diego Shirley Doell 427 8 37
Feb 9 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 305 NA 38
Feb 13 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 154 N/A 39
Feb 20 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 1708 N/A 40
Feb 21 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 562 N/A 41
Feb 24 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 514 45
Feb 26 Padilla Bay, WA Conway School 135 N/A 42
Mar 1 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 8 na 43
Mar 7 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 71 NA 44
Mar 14 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 197 46
Mar 24 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 50+ 47
Mar 24 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 100+ na 48
Mar 29 Oak Bay, Port Hadlock WA Diane Mulholland 120 10+ 49
Mar 30 Bodega Bay, CA Rod Hug 53 50
Apr 2 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 6 na 51
Apr 7 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 45 52
Apr 10 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 423 0.24 53
Apr 12 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 10000 54
Apr 12 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 10000 56
Apr 13 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 45 58
Apr 14 Yaquina Bay, OR Yaquina Birders & Naturalists 390/hr 59
Apr 23 Delta, B.C. Richard Swanston 4000 60
May 1 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 40 na 61
May 3 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 30 NA 62
May 10 Coos Bay, OR South Slough NERR 18 NA 63
May 15 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 200 64
May 23 Humboldt Bay, CA Steve Rosenberg 30 65


Notes:

1 there are at least several juveniles in this bunch so i assume this is not a flock that summered here

66 During a 9:15 AM-12:45 PM seawatch on Oct. 23 of waterbirds flying along the coast past Boiler Bay (which is about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay), Phil Pickering tallied 135 Brant flying south in small flocks. The afternoon of Oct. 23 at the Yaquina Bay jetties, Wayne Hoffman counted 14 Brant flying in from the north, circling over the channel between the jetties and then departing towards the southwest.

Migrating Brant have also been noted the last week of October in some years in the past in Lincoln County (including Yaquina Bay) (search for "Brant" in "Semimonthly bird records through 1992 for Lincoln County, Oregon; Part II: Records sorted by species" [1995] at http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/8070) and less
frequently inside Yaquina Bay (see p. 735 and 751 in "Censuses of Black Brant at Yaquina Estuary, Lincoln County, Oregon" [1996] at http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/8081). In recent years, first reports have often been in November, especially inside Yaquina Bay. However, it is not clear if the lack of late October sightings along the Lincoln Co. coast in recent years is a result of their absence or inadequate observation effort that can miss these flights.

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


2

6 Phil Pickering did not see any Brant during seawatches during 9:15-10:00 AM on Oct. 24 in Lincoln City (about 19 miles north of Yaquina Bay) and during 11:15 AM-12:45 PM on Oct. 27 at Boiler Bay (which is about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay). Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists.

3 Someone reported seeing 19 Brant off Light House Park in Point Roberts Washington Oct.20th 2013 so I've been searching the northwest part of Boundary Bay repeatedly for the last 10 Days, even this morning, without any luck. Finally, this evening just before sunset I saw 5 Brant of which 2 were juveniles. I first saw them off shore swimming straight for the beach. They came in and collected gravel for a short time on the high tide then almost came up on the beach before heading out again. I was hoping to see if they had leg bands. The weather report has a storm approaching the coast so I guess we will see more arrivals shortly.

Yours Richard Swanston Delta B.C.

4 Anna-Mai and I went looking for brant today but found none. We saw many loons and big rafts of ducks. Pintails were hauled out on the beach at Bay View, presumably eating japonica eelgrass. Keith, who lives on the spit at Camp Kirby, told us he has been out listening for brant every day when it's not windy and he hasn't heard anything yet.
Glen "Alex" Alexander

11 Based on the report of Brant spotted off the coast of Oregon about 7:30 last evening we went out to see if we could find any in the Morro Bay Estuary. Although the light was rapidly fading, we were able to count 95 geese based on their silhouettes in the bay out toward the sand spit and across from Windy Cove and the boat launch.

5 On Nov. 1, I looked for Brant at Yaquina Bay embayments (where they overwinter) and did not find any late during the afternoon, but the light was dim, so I could have missed them.
On Nov. 2. In the morning, Wayne Hoffman saw 3 Brant flying towards the northwest at Yaquina Head (which is about 3.5 miles north of Yaquina Bay). During his 8:00-10:00 morning seawatch at Boiler Bay (which is about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay), Phil Pickering counted 420 Brant flying south (average of 210/hour). At 3:55 PM, Eve Gill reported 8 Brant near the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC), which is east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge and includes Idaho Flats, one of three large embayments where Brant overwinter at Yaquina Bay. At 4:15 PM, I independently counted 16 Brant in a very tight flock along the Yaquina River Channel about mid-way between the HMSC and Idaho Point at the eastern end of Idaho Flats.
So Brant have arrived at Yaquina Bay on or before Nov. 2, but most of the 420 Brant recorded this morning evidently continued migrating south past Yaquina Bay.
Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists. Historical Yaquina Estuary records are accessible through "Click to download full text" at http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/handle/1957/8081


7 Phil Pickering did a second seawatch at Boiler Bay (which is about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay) on Nov. 2 during 2:30-3:45 PM and tallied a total of 250 Brant (average of 200/hour) flying south. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

8 with the north wind blowing nothing has apparently stopped at humboldt bay-friends crabbing in 20 fathoms yesterday thought they saw some brant flying by but were not sure-it is normal in north winds this time of year for the brant to fly right by-the southerlies stop them- but there seem to be none in the forecast-there are a lot of grebes this year-especially red necks and westerns-the 36 brant i saw probably are the ones that have been here for a while but i cant be sure-they can come in and leave in a very short time in weather like this-especially when they dont see their- buddies

12 The Brant are in a group this morning in the estuary a few hundred yards off-shore across from the Elfin Forest in Los Osos. There is a delightful chorus of cronking sounds coming from the group.

9 Sunday Nov. 3, 2013 Grand Brant Day in Boundary Bay at Beach Grove, Tsawwassen.

This was one of the best days I’ve ever had for reading bands in the first week of the fall brant season. The tide was about 11.9 Feet and falling fast. Wind was light at first from the ESE at 4 knots. Weather was partly cloudy. It was a FINE Day with sun. I arrived at 07:32 to find a flock of brant just off the beach: 109 of which 22 were juveniles (20%). There were about 60 more brant off the eastern spit of the park. There was a lot of shooting on the north side of the bay because duck hunting season is open. At times the brant would jump into the air with each shot, looking like they might take flight.

By 8:00 there were 273 brant of which 66 were juveniles (24%) and the following bands were seen over the next hour:
Left Leg, Green Band, Adult, 2AV
Left Leg, Green Band with White Codes, 815 (maybe 875) might be offspring of adult 2Av
Left leg, Green Band with White Codes, 233
Left leg Green Band/ white codes, juvenile, 70K
2GV
Left leg, Green Band/White Codes 2GV
Right leg, Yellow Banded Pair, Black Codes, 90U and 93U
Blue Band/White Codes 482
Left leg, Green Band White Codes 2HR

At about 08:46 a LARGE running race started and the dike was filled with runners. There were about 500 or so runners on the dike. The brant continued to preen and collect gravel in the Pump House Channel in spite of all the noise and activity. Final count: 336 brant of which 64 were juveniles (19%).

I did return at 14:10 on the rising tide and found no brant in the Western Bay. The wind had shifted to WNW though and picked up a bit. At around 16:20 I counted Brant between the Coal Port Causeway and the Tsawwssen Ferry Causeway (on the opposite side of Point Roberts). I counted 497 brant. Most were off the Tsawwassen First Nations Sea Dam area.

Yours, Richard Swanston Delta, B.C.


10 In the morning of Nov. 3, Wayne Hoffman counted 43 Brant at Idaho Flats, the embayment east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center. So numbers quickly built up from the previous evening. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon

13 Today was the first Conway School branting field trip. Kyle, Dylan, and Cain went to 3 sites for brant observation. On their way to the first site, they saw thousands of snow geese in a field and an eagle carrying something in its talons. At their first site, Camp Kirby, there were no brant but several other birds. They saw several seagulls, 2 western grebes, 4 redtail hawks, 7 cormorants, and 1 great blue heron. At the second site, Bayview Park, no birds were seen at first. They then noticed a line of birds towards the west near the Swinomish Casino. At the casino's RV park, site 3, they saw over 300 brant with over 500 ducks. It was difficult to tell whether the brant group contained juveniles because the group was far away.

14 These brant were seen in the San Diego River flood control channel, just west of the Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Bridge. Four of them had VID bands, which I was able to read, and have reported to the Bird Banding Lab. One was a juvenile, and was associating with two other banded birds.

15

16 Today, Parker, Anders, and Joey went on the Conway brant field trip. On there way to the Padilla Bay reserve, we saw 14 snow geese in a field. At the first site, Camp Kirby, we saw 4 seagulls, 5 buffleheads, 3 pintail ducks, and 4 common loons. At the second location, Bayview State Park, we saw 3 hawks, a blue heron and several buffleheads diving for fish. At the last site, the Dike on the south end of the bay, we saw tons of blue herons, 5 hawks and thousands of ducks. Sadly, we did not see any brant at any of the locations.

17 The day was a little cold. I went to the Punta Banda Estuary (Ensenada, Baja California) and saw a group of 25 Brant about the middle of the sand spit. Four juvenile among them. I walked a few meters heading south and found nother group of 24 Brant. Both groups were eating eelgrass.
El día estaba un poco frío. Fui al estero de Punta Banda en Ensenada, Baja California y miré un grupo de 24 brantas en la mitad de la barra arenosa. Cuatro de ellas eran juveniles. Caminé unos metros al sur y encontré otro grupo de 24 brantas. Ambos grupos estaban alimentándose de pasto marino.
Iván Manríquez - Pro Esteros.

24 On Nov. 19, Robert Qually found 158 Brant at Sally's Bend (which is the intertidal embayment east of the LNG tank and east of the Yaquina Bay Bride). That is one of the embayments where they overwinter here. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

18 Today, Junior, Aidan, and Noah went out a branting field trip. At their first site, Camp Kirby, we saw 3 adult and immature bald eagles, 3 red tail hawks, 20 double-crested cormorants, 1 loon and several seagulls. At the second site, Bayview National Park, we saw some bufflehead ducks and over 300 pintail ducks. At the last stop, the south end of Padilla Bay, we saw 4 bald eagles, 4 great blue herons, 1 northern herrier, 2 redtail hawks and mats of over 1000 ducks, a mixture of pintails, widgeons, mallards, and buffleheads.

19 With near perfect conditions, I counted Western Arctic Brant Geese (also known as gray-belly brant or GBB). With these first initial counts no juvenile birds were seen. While these are early results, I just thought I’d mention it because last year I believe recruitment was also low. I'm not a professional biologist so if the trend continues, possibly someone with more expertise could make a more careful study in all other areas that they might use? Here are some details from Boundary Bay Metro Park in Tsawwassen:
08:40, 223 total brant counted, 24 were juveniles (10.7%)
08:55, 16 GBB observed, no juveniles
09:00, 47 GBB observed, no juveniles
Later in the afternoon (after 14:00) a total of 237 brant were counted of which 41 were juveniles (17.3%). There were 16 GBB, none were juveniles.
Yours, Richard Swanston Delta

Sean Boyd replied:
It is still early and most families may not arrive for another few weeks.


20 after sporadic light migration all month and bluebird weather,the brant arrived in force yesderday just ahead of the cold storm that has painted the mountains white-there is a good crop of juveniles this year and i am advised by bill henry of the usfw who was here to hunt that the last 4 years have seen good hatches-there are lots of ducks in the bay-they are in desperate need of flooded fields and ponds in this very dry perhaps record dry year here-saw 2 pairs of barrows golden eyes and a few tundra swans in the last week

21 The weather here has been clear and very cold. This single brant was seen two days in a row in the same location, near a small stream mouth flowing onto a tidal mudflat. The bird was limping on its right leg and did not fly off as I watched it from 5 meters away.

22 Some juveniles were among the adults walking on the sand bars. But I could not estimate a percentage. The temperature was 55F while inland it was about 10F colder due to the current cold snap.

23 On Dec. 13, I counted 258 Brant at Idaho Flats (the intertidal mudflats east of the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center at Yaquina Bay). They winter there and other adjacent embayments. I did not find any elsewhere or west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Thousands of waterfowl are at embayments, more than usual for this time of year. The freezing weather last week may have been a factor. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

25 Sat. Dec. 14th 2013.

This may be another year with very few western Arctic brant (also known as grey-belly brant) juveniles. This fall I've noticed a lack of juveniles of this rare population of brant geese in Boundary Bay. I saw the same thing last year (2012-2013 winter season). I realize that this race of geese is not considered a separate species but the color pattern is generally accepted as signifying the brant that nest in the high Arctic (mostly Melville Island) and that winters for the most part in Washington State and Southern British Columbia. I know that there is always an interest and commitment to preserve unique and somewhat isolated population groups. And this small population might be of interest to some of you. It might also be an indicator of conditions in in the Arctic. I'm unaware of any research currently being done on this population. One way to monitor conditions of this population is through winter surveys. Several weeks ago I pointed out that there appeared to be a lack of production this year for this population. Some people replied that western Arctic brant family units might arrive later to their wintering grounds than the black brant that showed a good percentage of juveniles at that time. Though I'm NOT a professional biologist, I have a great interest in brant and have been closely observing brant for over 15 years in the Boundary Bay and Fraser River Delta area. Today, Saturday Dec.14th 2013 was the first opportunity to get a close look at a large group of brant because of a long stretch of cold weather. Ice had formed over much of the near shore tidal area of this shallow bay, driving the brant out far from shore. Things have now warmed and today the tide was favorable (falling to a low of 11.2 feet at 09:28) making it possible for me to identify their race as they climbed out of the water onto the beach. Unfortunately on my first arrival at 08:20, bald eagles were active in the area and at 08:23 the first small flock of Brant were seen to leave the bay and the fog and mist rolled in. On my return at 09:18 the fog had lifted and several large flocks of brant were seen to be moving into the area of western Boundary Bay off the Boundary Bay Metro Vancouver Park at Tsawwassen near the Beach Grove Lagoon and I was able to make an accurate count. First I counted all the brant near the dike and identified them for age. The count over all was 316 brant of which 6 were juvenile. That’s about 2%. I noted that most were western Arctic Brant. So then I counted only those western Arctic brant that were in shallow enough water to CLEARLY show the clean demarcation line of the breast feathers below the base of the neck that differentiates this population. I counted 191 western Arctic brant of which NONE were seen to be juveniles – ZERO. I scanned the flock to check for any hidden birds that might be missed with no success. Half an hour later I did a recount using the same methods and counted 139 western Arctic brant with no juveniles. Then the flock spread out a bit with some drifting off into the bay after a bald eagle flew over, disturbing them. Another count came up with 282 brant with 5 juveniles but none of these juveniles were western Arctic brant. That’s a juvenile ration for the whole flock of less than 2%. My impression is that there was a VERY high ratio of western Arctic brant in the group. I would hope that this observation would spark some interest in getting more information on this rare population and the productivity rate for the past few years. Maybe some counts or surveys could be conducted in Washington State? Maybe this is just a local phenomenon here in Boundary Bay. Maybe there is a trend of low productivity for this population. Counts made of black brant flocks are much more encouraging. I think that this year I’ve only seen 2 or 3 juvenile western Arctic brant.


26
Today, Rachel, Izabel, and Staci went on a brant field trip. At the first site, Camp Kirby, we saw 3 redtail hawks, 25 swans, 1 bald eagle, a lot of seagulls, and 2 herons. We saw one brant on the shore eating rocks and washed up eelgrass and when we looked further in the water, we saw 32 brant. At the second site, Bayview State Park, it was really foggy so we could not see too far. We did see 4 bufflehead ducks, 2 cormorants, seagulls, 1 red-tail hark and 4 herons. At the last stop, the swinomish split, we saw several mats of ducks including wigeons, mallards, pintails, and green-winged teals.

27 All the brant flew out and approximately 450 landed 90 ft out from the bay. They then began to grit 5 ft off the beach as about 100 more brant joined the group. Approximately 39 were juveniles. In the distance, numerous shots were fired and several brant flew away.

35 All Brant were east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge at embayments where they overwinter. I searched and found none west of the Bridge. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

28 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife did a count of brant in Skagit and Whatcom counties from an airplane on December 30. Whatcom County is on the Canada/US border and Skagit County is just south of that. Here are the results:
Skagit County:
Fidalgo Bay 0
Padilla Bay 2819
Swinomish Reserve 0
Samish Bay 3659
Skagit County Total 6478

Whatcom County:
Bellingham Bay 319
Lummi Bay 2219
Birch Bay 422
Blaine/Drayton Harbor 996
Whatcom County Total 3956

Reported by Paul M.DeBruyn, Assistant District Wildlife Biologist, WDFW

29 brant were migrating today and yesterday-this count does not include north bay-so the sping migration has begun-altho not yet in earnest-this is the driest year on record here-the ducks are all crowded in the bay-there are no flooded fields and marshes for them-and the bay is packed with them-quite a site

30 Randel, Zach and Lucus went out a branting field trip. At their first site, Camp Kirby, we saw a bald eagle eating a crab on a tree stump on the beach, and 9 other eagles circling n the air. We also saw 3 herons, 3 red tail hawks,1 loon, 4 mallard ducks, several seagulls, and a seal. At the second site, Bayview National Park, we saw over 40 loons, 30 bufflehead ducks, 5 herons, and 1 western grebe. At the third stop, the swinomish split, we saw 3 bald eagles, 2 redtail hawks, 6 great blue herons, and mats of over 1000 ducks mostly made up of pintails and widgeons.

31 We were out for 3 hours and went to three sites. We saw 180 brant in total; 110 at Camp Kirby and 70 at Bayview Stat Park. However, they were too far offshore to tell if there were any juveniles in the groups. We also saw 5 herons, 2 redtail hawks, an eagle, and a lot of seagulls, mallards, pintails, buffleheads, and wigeons.

34 Today, Jasmine, Grace and Stevie from Conway School went out branting. We saw a flock of swans, 2 great blue herons, 4 eagles, and over a hundred ducks like mallards, wigeons, and pintails. We saw 10 brant flying at Camp Kirby and at the Swinomish casino, we saw over 700 brant on the shoreline with more flying in.

33

32 Yesterday morning fog lifted early. At a distance, I saw a group of 37 Brant. Too far out in the bay to id juveniles.
In the afternoon, I found 7 more Brant fly up from behind a berm at Mystery Bay State Park on Marrowstone Island, about 6 miles North of Oak Bay.
About an hour later, at Ft. Flagler state park at the northern tip of Marrowstone Island, I found a group of 40+ Brant. All were too far away to ID juveniles.

36 All Brant were east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge at embayments where they overwinter. I searched and found none west of the Bridge. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

37 This large group of brant were on the Western shore of Vacation Island in Mission Bay, San Diego, California today. I've been scoping this flock for 3 days, and have found 9 auxiliary bands that are new to me, and 5 that I saw in November. They are close and tame in this area, and I was even able to read a metal band number on one. I'm sending the band info into the Bird Banding Lab. These brant appear to be flying in from the ocean for the morning low tide, in groups of 30 to 50. Do wintering brant spend the night out on the ocean???

38 We counted a large flock of brant near Pigeon Point resting and feeding along the edge of an exposed mudflat. Nearby, large mixed flocks of Surf scoters, Bufflehead, and Greater scaup were tightly moving together, perhaps diving on eelgrass meadows. This is the time of year when herring, a small, abundant fish spawn by laying their bright green eggs on the blades of the eelgrass. These eggs are a rich food source for the diving ducks. We look forward to a low tide expedition to discover if this is what is causing the ducks to flock so closely together.

Tom & Sophia Gaskill

39 The weather today was sunny to start off but got cold and cloudy towards the end. At the Camp Kirby site, we counted 154 brant. They flew in and settled down on the water until they were disturbed by 2 seals. They weren't close to shore. We also saw many other birds and ducks including pintails, buffleheads, mallards, eagles, swans, and what we thought was a vulture! At Bayview State park, we mostly saw pintails and mallards with a few loons. At the Swinomish Casino, we saw a lot of mallards and cormorants and along the shore, there were over 20 Great blue herons.
Annie, Lake, and Sarah

40 We drove to camp Kirby and saw about 56 Brant and many other bird species like loons, cormorants, mallards, wigeons, swans, and eagles. The brant were far from shore. For the second site, we drove to Bay View State park. It was very windy and wavy. We saw 152 brant here. At the swimnomish split, the third site, we over 1500 brant. They were all sitting on shore. Then an eagle flew towards them and they all flew up in one big group and flew down the beach then up in the sky and then settle back down close to where they started. It looked like a big black cloud moving along the shore; it was so cool!
Kyle, Daylon, and Megan

41 First we went to Camp Kirby. On the way there, a giant group of snow geese flew right over the car; they were really loud. It was cold and windy with a little bit of slate. We saw 62 brant. They were really close to shore. We also saw loons, buffleheads, and mergansers. The second place we went was was Bay View State park where it was cold and windy too. There were cormorants, mallards and over 350 swans. We saw brant here but they were too far to count so we decided that they would be easier to see at the third location. The third place was swinomish split. There were about 500 brant sitting on the shore. we were surprised they were there because there were also 3 eagles on the shore, 2 on a pole on shore, and 3 in a tree nearby. We saw loons and over 2000 ducks and also 40 herons were huddled together in the shrubs on the beach.
Emma, Alexa, and Sarah

45 This is the high count so far this season and indicates a substantial spring migration influx into embayment areas east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. My previous high count this winter at these embayment areas was 258 Brant. I did not find any Brant west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge where they often show up in numbers during spring migration. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

42 On our first trip to see brant, we saw around 32 brant. We saw lots of seagulls, 4 eagles, 3 great blue herons, 4 red-tailed hawks, a falcon, and many ducks. The brant were moving in a straight line and some were eating eelgrass. On the second trip, we saw 83 brant which were very far away. They were all clumped together. We saw a lot of other birds too. At the Swinomish spit, we only saw 20 brant that were far out and flew away when an eagle flew over them. There were a lot of other birds around like 3 northern harriers, 10 eagles, and a large group of great blue herons flying together.
Naya, Madi, and Mariah

43 Near Empire dock, we found many grebes, scoters, and then finally, a small flock of 8 brant.

44 71 Brant were seen at Ft.Flagler.

46 All 197 were at embayments east of the Yaquina Bay Bridge where Brant overwinter. I looked but did not find any west of the Bridge.

47 Roy Lowe saw a few brant along the Yaquina Bay South Jetty west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge particularly just after the recent herring spawn. He photographed 5 Brant on March 12, and saw a much bigger flock near that date, but for the most part just a smaller number.

Wayne Hoffman reported on March 24 that he has seen varying numbers of Brant west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge almost daily since March 14th. Quite a few have been milling around with the Scoters and Scaup on the south side, and on March 24, 50+ were on the north-side flat.


Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists.

48 Both yesterday and today at mid afternoon 2-3pm there were 100+ Brant feeding just off the north shore of Oak Bay.I was too far away to count juveniles.

49 This is the third day in a row we've had a group of 120+ Brant. Finally they are flying into the inner bay where the fresh water creek enters, preening and feeding on eel grass.
There is an active eagle presence which keeps them stirred. At least 10% are juvs. Several are banded.

50 Brant were spread over the bay in small groups.

51 The day was fairly warm and sunny for spring. We saw many Western gulls, 1 Pied-billed grebe, 6 Pigeon guillemots, and 1 Common loon. Far out on the bay at high tide, we saw 6 brant floating in a loose flock along the edge of the channel.

Empire Dock, Coos Bay - South Slough Estuary Explorers

52 Wayne Hoffman about 45 brant swimming off the Yaquina Bay Jetty, West of the 1st rock finger west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

53 On the eastern most point of Boundary Bay Metro Park Tsawwassen, there were at least 4 Bald Eagle on the foreshore near a flock of 350 Brant. Near the far northeast point, I counted 73 Brant, 12 of which were Western Arctic Brant. None were juvenile Gray Belly Brant but 1 was a juvenile Black Brant.

54 after languid migrations since the end of january the brant arrived en masse today-i was on the south spit at 10 am and the bay which had only 1500 or so birds yesterday, was loaded-in the one hour i was there 7 more flocks migrated in 50-100 birds in each, several flying right over my head at an elevation of 40 yards,whiffling and bantering-there was a light norhtwest wind. coastal stratus, ceiling 500 feet or so and the ocean roily, short and leaden-the bay just one fouth mile across the dunes was placid and glassy-i presume these birds left morro bay-tomales and-or bodega yesterday- so some should be flying by coos and newport shortly-north bay also has birds but i didnt count there-probably a couple thousand

56 after languid migrations since the end of january the brant arrived en masse today-i was on the south spit at 10 am and the bay which had only 1500 or so birds yesterday, was loaded-in the one hour i was there 7 more flocks migrated in 50-100 birds in each, several flying right over my head at an elevation of 40 yards,whiffling and bantering-there was a light norhtwest wind. coastal stratus, ceiling 500 feet or so and the ocean roily, short and leaden-the bay just one fouth mile across the dunes was placid and glassy-i presume these birds left morro bay-tomales and-or bodega yesterday- so some should be flying by coos and newport shortly-north bay also has birds but i didnt count there-probably a couple thousand-this is humboldt bay not yaquina -i hit the wrong tab

58 Wayne Hoffman saw 45 Brant west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge at 8 AM and near 2 PM saw 40 fly north past Yaquina Head, which is a coastal headland about 3.5 miles north of Yaquina Bay. Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists


59 During a 3 hour seawatch (7:00-10:00 AM) along the coast at Boiler Bay, Phil Pickering saw a total of 1170 Brant for an average of 390/hour. The larges flock had 95 Brant. Boiler Bay is about 13 miles north of Yaquina Bay. Brant are still on the move along the Oregon central coast! Range Bayer for Yaquina Birders & Naturalists, Newport, Oregon.

60 In the last 2 days, there have been approximately 4000 brant between the Point Roberts, Washington and the Tsawwassen Beach Bluffs. Today, there was one brant with a different coloration; it had a white stripe along the left side of its breast feathers. In 2010, two brant with a similar color anomaly were observed at Point Roberts Washington.

61 The weather has been record breaking warm here with a high of 91 degrees Farhenheit reported yesterday. These brant were seen near Fossil Point in lower Coos Bay.

T. Gaskill, South Slough NERR

62 These brant were seen in the same location as those in the previous report, lower Coos Bay to the north of Fossil Point. They were calmly feeding on eelgrass when something startled them and they flew off. We didn't detect a raptor, but this seemed most likely.

T. Gaskill & Birders on the Estuary

63 Although the total number of birds we saw on the bay last Saturday was low, we did spot 18 Brant feeding on eelgrass near the edge of the channel near Pigeon Point. These may be some stragglers, as it seems that most of the brant have moved north by now.

T. Gaskill & Birders on the Estuary

64 these birds were in an eelgrass swale in the middle of the bay at low tide-there were some more next to the spit- i observed some flying northerly a little later but dont know if they left

65 i saw this flock flying northwest friday afternoon while salmon fishing in 25 fathoms several miles from the entrance-i believe they landed in the ocean about a mile above me-2 days earlier i observed 80 or so in the bay-i also obsreved 5 flying down the bay saturday


MONITORS |  LOG |  EXHIBITS |  CURRICULUM |  LINKS

Return to Top of Page