International Brant Monitoring Project
Observation Logs:

1997/98 Brant Observation Log







Izembek Lagoon, Cold Bay, AK Tracy Schafer, Tina Dochat (co-bio tech), and Anson Koehler (volunteer)




Izembek Lagoon, Cold Bay, AK Steller's eider banding crew and Tracy Schafer

20,000 +



not stated, AK Chris Dau, (Niels' Dad), Biologist/Pilot and Margaret Petersen, Biologist




Morro Bay, CA John Roser




Padilla Bay, WA Padilla Bay staff and Mary Schultz




Cold Bay, AK Students at Cold Bay



1-Nov-97 Cold Bay Harlan N/A 7
2-Nov-97 Morro Bay, CA Judy A. Neuhauser 15 8
3-Nov-97 Cold BAy, AK Students N/A 9
11-Nov-97 Cold Bay, AK Greg Siekaniec, Refuge Manager, Tracy Schafer Multitudes 10
15-Nov-97 San Quintin,MX Students ~5000 10a
18-Nov-97 Magdalena Bay, MX The Brant Crew @Magdalena ~190 11
18-Nov-97 Coos Bay, OR Oregon Birders Online 38 12
19-Nov-97 Morro Bay, CA Loisann Cass over 500 13
23-Nov-97 Morro Bay, CA William Chestnut 900-1000 14
27-Nov-97 San Quintin, MX S-Q PIMBoN's 1680 15
09-Dec-97 Padilla Bay, WA Students 180 16
5-Nov-97 San Quintin, MX Raul Lopez Gongora 80 17
22-Nov-97 San Quintin, MX Laura Martinez Rios 818 18
12-Dec-97 San Quintin, MX Laura Martinez Rios 2600 18a
14-Dec-97 San Nicolas
Island, CA
Robert A. Hamilton 1 18b
16-Dec-97 Padilla Bay, WA Students 204 19
18-Dec-97 Padilla Bay, WA Students 170 20
3/4-Jan-98 Coos Bay, OR Celeste Carlisle 6 21
6-Jan-98 Padilla Bay, Samish Bay, WA Students 80 22
8-Jan-98 Padilla Bay,  WA Students 30+ 23
8-Jan-98 Coos Bay, OR Mike Graybill, Celeste Carlisle 22 24
13-Jan-98 Padilla Bay,  WA Students 211 25
15-Jan-98 Padilla Bay,  WA Students 410 26
17-Jan-98 San Quintin, MX Students ~23,000 26a
19-Jan-98 Morro Bay, CA Judy Neuhauser 20 27
22-Jan-98 Padilla Bay,  WA Students 350-400 28
28-Jan-98 Coos Bay, OR Students 59 29
29-Jan-98 Padilla Bay,  WA Students ~800 30
30-Jan-98 Coos Bay, OR Students 69 31
03-Feb Padilla Bay, WA Students ~450 32
04-Feb-98 Coos Bay, OR Students 123 33
05-Feb-98 Padilla Bay, WA Students ~260 34
12-Feb-98 Padilla Bay, WA Students ~161 35
10-Feb-98 Coos Bay, OR Students 223 36
10-Feb-98 Padilla Bay, WA Students ~400 37
14-Feb-98 San Quintin,MX Students 170 37a
14-Feb-98 San Quintin,MX Students 2289 37b
14-Feb-98 San Quintin,MX Students 1611 37c
14-Feb-98 San Quintin,MX Students 220 37d
14-Feb-98 Laguna Guerrero Negro,MX Students 207 37e
19-Feb-98 Padilla Bay, WA Students 1503 38
21-Feb-98 Laguna Guerrero Negro,MX Students 170 38a
21-Feb-98 Laguna San Ignacio,MX Students 164 38b
21-Feb-98 Laguna Guerrero Negro,MX Students 475 38c
25-Feb-98 Coos Bay Students 545 39
26-Feb-98 Padilla Bay, WA Students 530 40
28-Feb-98 Laguna Guerrero Negro,MX Students 76 40a
03-Mar-98 Padilla Bay, WA Students ~2500 41
04-Mar-98 Coos Bay Students ~400 42
12-Mar-98 Padilla Bay, WA Students ~1400 43
18-Mar-98 Coos Bay, OR Students 101 44
19-Mar-98 Bandon,OR Jim Furniss 7 45
19-Mar-98 Padilla Bay, WA Students 1905 46
20-Mar-98 Coos Bay, OR Students 350 47
24-Mar-98 Padilla Bay, WA Students ~600 48
25-Mar-98 Newport, OR Mark Amend 13 49

Observation Log - 1996/97


1. While on the lagoon doing a seabird survey, we observed the group of brant on one of the large sand flat areas. It was an absolutely gorgeous day (60oF, wind 10 W, partly cloudy). As is typical of brant, they kept on the move as long as we were anywhere around. I'll be keeping a close look out for more to come in. WooHoo!! Fall is here!

2. It was a sunny day! We were out in zodiaks going to round-up molting Steller's eiders to band in the lagoon. Everywhere you looked hundreds of brant were flying. There was even a whale feeding in one the lagoon channels as we boated by. After a very difficult round-up we caught 428 Steller's eiders -- 92% of them were recaptures (i.e. They already had bands.).

3. Comments:Chris and Margaret flew an aerial survey of the lagoon on 9/20/97. During the fall we keep track of the number of brant, emperor geese, Canada geese, and steller's eiders by doing aerial surveys every 2 weeks or so. We use a supercub plane which sits just two people--one behind the other and fly at about 150 - 500 feet depending on what type of birds we're looking at. Most of the brant should be here by now. Last year our peak survey was on 9/25/96 with 142,809 (give or take a few thousand) brant estimated.

4. Twentyone brant were observed Sunday, Nov. 2, 1997 feeding on eelgrass in Morro Bay by local birder, John Roser. He'll be using a Questar telescope to read band this winter, and would appreciate any band reading hints-- when do birds typically go griting, and any other times when bands are visible. We had a low tide this afternoon at 4:50 pm. The weather is unseasonably hot and still. (80 degrees F.) The ocean is warm (up to 17 degree C.) and clear (there was red tide earlier this fall).

5. We went out into the Bay Saturday to see if the Grey Bellied Brant (Branta hrota) that winter in Padilla Bay have arrived. Many of the wintering raptor, swan and duck species have started to arrive, but no Brant sighted that day.

6. The Brant left Izembek on Thursday October 30, and Friday October 31....We still have a population of about 5,000 that will spend the winter here....Sorry for the delay in the notice, our connectivity to the internet is difficult to obtain....

7. The brant departure is associated with storms. They usually choose an intense low-pressure with strong NW winds. We are experiencing such a low today, however, we have SE winds with it. Most of the Canadian geese have left, but the Brant are still here....They could go anytime.

8. My name is William Chessnut. I'm in 2nd grade. My friend Loisann called me
at 7 am this morning to tell me that there are 15 black brant on the Morro Bay estuary this morning!  Are these brant from Izembek or from somewhere else? We have not heard that they have left Izembek yet.

9. The Brant left Izembek on Thursday October 30, and Friday October 31. We still have a population of about 5,000 that will spend the winter here. Sorry for the delay in the notice, our connectivity to the internet is difficult to obtain.

10. Brant were flying over the city of Cold Bay last night.  Greg called me to let me know that he was hearing them go about 7:30 p.m. It was a moonlit night so I immediately went to the pier to see if I could observe any of the flocks we were hearing. I did not see any birds, but counted at least 10 different groups go over. Very cool!

10a. Comments: Before going to the field we opened the "Care Package". Later in the field we climbed a small volcano "Monte Cenizo", where we can see the whole bay. From that point we were able to see the whole bay, and we saw a small group of geese in the area of oyster farming. Later we visited a spot called "El Seis", where we learned about the Brant habitat. It is an area covered with volcanic rocks and a lot of sea lettuce, we also find footprints. While we were observing, we count small flocks. The bigger groups where located in the two sand barriers that protect de bay, Punta Asufre and Punta Manzo. We also notice disturbance by boats in the water and vehicles in land, that bother a group of Brants. The total number we counted was 5,000 Brants.

11. Hello from Puerto San Carlos, Magdalena Bay! The Brants are here! We sighted them first at 9:45 A.M. and again at 10, 10:15, and 10:30A.M. The first group numbered approximately 20 and the others, 8, 160, and 5 respectively. The weather was clear and sunny and the water, smooth. The Brants were spotted swimming in water of 2-3 meters in depth in the bay. They were not feeding because of the high tide level, but we will go out on boats again in the next week. We will keep in touch when larger populations arrive.

12. Please note that 38 Brant were observed. This is a fairly unique sight for this time of year on Coos Bay. We are going out today to see if we can locate the flock and determine whether or not they are here for the winter or just passing through.  (Thomas J. Gaskill)

13. We got a call Monday morning - Nov 17 - from our birder friend, Loisann Cass, who lives right in the bay. She tells us that over 500 brant have showed up this morning. This is a far larger group than had been seen over the past two weeks, so we are figuring that some of these are the brant that left Izembeck with the storm on the 11th. We don't have band-reading scopes, so can only give numbers so far.

Para nuestros amigos en Mejico: Llamo nuestra amiga Loisann Cass - ella viva muy cerca del agua - y dice que podia ver mas de 500 brant! No hemos vista mas de 150 antes. Pos eso, pensamos que estas nuevas son los que salian de Izembeck la noche de 11 de noviembre. No tenemos buen equipage para leer los bandos. Por eso, podemos dar numeros de pajaors solamente.  Queria decir tambien que mi esposo y yo habiamos visitado a San Ignacio hace 12 anos. Aunque ha pasado mucho tiempo, era tan lindo lugar que tenemos buenas memorias de su pueblo encantado.

14. Sunday Nov 23 was a sunny day with not much wind. We saw about 900-1000 brant. They were feeding and swimming around. There was a hunter trying to sneak up on the geese, but he was unsuccessful. The hunters got their boat stuck on the mudflats. There was a kyaker who wanted to look at the birds closely, but he got too close and scared the birds. Luckily when the hunters shot, they missed them all.

We put up signs talking about the brant. They say "Bird Friendly Boating" . They tell people that before the brant take off, they raise their heads, increase the volume of their calls, and move away from you. These are to help boaters keep from disturbing the birds and letting them feed and rest.

15. We were not able to see David Ward and his staff, they were on the top of Monte Ceniso, for a general count. A reporter from a local newspaper accompanied us with her photographer. We found a very bad injured Brant with two wounds, one in the right foot and another one in the belly. It died in our hands, so we ask for permission to pick it up and a friend from the University is going to dissect it. Our next field trip will be on the 14, which will be our last class before holidays, we will come back on January 10, 1998.

16. Samish spit: 4 flocks of: 145, 5, 14, 7. One individual alone in the water.
Swinomish Spit: one flock of 12
It was freezing and windy. It was cloudy and the tide was high. We got our picture taken by a school newpaper person. We saw lots of species of birds, like Bald Eagles, Harlequin Ducks, and Buffleheads. Observers: Ryan Williams, Will Anderson, Ashley Mitchell, Lacey Markee, Anaka Mines, Cathy Angell

17. "On November 5, a friend of us Raul Lopez Gongora, counted 80 Brants, in a site called "frente al campamento Kuyima"; 3 of which have difficulty to walk, probably wounded, or only tired from their journey."

18. "On November 22 we had our first field trip. We monitoring in two sites. The first one is called "frente al campamento Kuyima" and we count flocks from 10:20 hrs through 13:00 hrs. The results are: No. Flocks = 11 - Total No. bird = 152 - Juveniles/Adults = 3/149

In the second site called "frente a Mangles" we count aproximaly 669 birds. All Brants were in approximately in 3 Ha. Here they have lots of eelgrass. We were able to hear the sounds of Brants perfectly. Unfortunately, we can't see bands. We will have other field trip in December 20th. We hope to do it if the weather is good; eventhough, we will be working every Saturdays."

18a. Comment: Biol. Jose Luis Aguilar, official from Semarnap the environment Secretariat, accompanied us and spend time with the students. They had the opportunity to interviewed him about the hunting activity, in the Bay. We also talk with some of the staff of David Wars and they talk about the ecology of the goose. They taught how they count Brants using the telescope and making transects. They also mention that the morning is the best time for counting Brants. This Saturday the report was of 26,000 in the whole bay, and the hunters got 30 Brants. We also saw 2 white pelicans Pelecanus erythrynchos, very rare here, and 2 sea lions. The weather was very nice, a sunny day with a mild wind, temp. 16° C, we get there when there was height tide in ebb.

18b. Comment: On 13 & 14 December 1997, fellow volunteer Sandra Harvill and I observed
a banded Brant (Branta bernicla) at the northeast end of San Nicolas Island -- band information:

left leg: light green pvc band inscribed "EN 8" in white
right leg: USFWS silver band (could not read)

The banded bird was in adult plumage, and it was traveling with an unbanded bird that showed white scalloping on the wings (characteristic of first-year birds). We first observed these birds on the water near shore (time: 1445); they then flew up onto onshore rocks, apparently to
drink water from depressions in the rocks (it had rained on the island in the past week, so this may have been fresh water). We again observed the two birds on these rocks on 14 December, again noting the band and inscription on the left leg of the adult bird.

I'd be very interested to know where this Brant came from, its age, etc!

19. Today was wet, windy, and cold. The birds were playing in the wind. We saw a number of animals, we especially liked the otters playing in the rain. We saw around 10 eagles, a few red-tailed hawks, and lots of species of waterfowl.

20. Although the weather was very cold seeing so many species of birds helped us forget about our numb fingers. An interesting thing we saw was about 30 Snow Geese flying over Padilla Bay. We also saw a Peregrine Falcon, Harlequin Ducks, Kingfishers, and many many Bald Eagles.

21. (Brant) seen nibbling on a bright green mat of algae and eelgrass at lowtide. It was noted by Mike Graybill, the observer and South Slough Reserve Manager, that a few Brant were seen last year at this time.   Happy Branting!

22. Comments: Observers: Shawn White, Veronica Tinoco, Sasha Crane, Kyle Davis & Anaka Mines. We were driving along the road, when suddenly a hawk flew over our heads, and swooped down, and grabbed something in the grass. And then a red-tailed hawk and two bald eagles dove towards the hawk trying to steal the prey. It was really, truly amazing. It was fun, rainy, muddy, and cold.

23. Site: Swinomish Spit.  We had sunny, but cold weather. We spotted a Harbor Seal, we thought that was cool. We saw many species of birds other than brant throughout the day like Bald Eagles both juveniles and adults, Red Tailed Hawks, Blue Herons, Kestrels, and others. We felt so relieved to finally find some brant, it was very exciting.  Observers: TessaRose Allen, Tara Stensrude,Joe Schibret, Jason Lazzari, Anaka Mines

24. Site: Fossil Point.  Mike and I were very excited to see 22 brant. It doesn't sound like too many, but usually at this time, there are only 4-5 brant on the bay. These 22 brant were floating about just at the water's edge. They were all dipping their heads into the water and coming up with small bits of sea lettuce. We were both a little saddened to see a man standing in the intertidal zone with a shotgun. We felt like the brant were just arriving and this didn't seem a nice way to welcome them. We are also scared that since brant are so shy, if they are hunted at Fossil Point, where we see them every year, they will stop coming to our estuary and find some other place.

Any suggestions? On this particular day, the brant moved off away from the intertidal zone and the hunter left without attempting a shot, but who's to say he or another hunter won't return? Of course we realize that brant hunting is legal, but we are concerned with where the brant are being hunted in Coos Bay and that this may promote a decline in the numbers of brant we see at Fossil Point because the birds will move away from a busy, scary area. The Brant hunting season in Oregon this year goes until January 11, not too much longer.

25. Comments:  We saw the Brant moving into and out of the gravely shoreline and they seemed to be gristing, which is the intake of the gravel. We could see their bellies because they were standing in the gravel. They were the gray- belly form (B. b. hrota) which is unique to Padilla Bay, the birds that breed at Melville Island. We think we saw a metal color and an orange band, but we couldn't read them.  Observers:Duke Fisher, Jennifer Bunch, Sarah Baker, Jake Gelineau and Anaka Mines

26. Comments: Site: Samish Spit. We went to Samish Spit in the afternoon to catch the low tide and we were rewarded with around 100 Brant standing on the gravel. We also looked at the water and saw many Brant bobbing up and down so it was hard to count. We were surprised to see so many today because yesterday was a hunting day and the hunters use Samish Spit.

26a. Observers: Laura Martinez and friends

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Old cemetary 11:30 Flood West 2757

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds
1 100
2 50
3 300
4 200
5 100
6 57
7 227
8 63
9 720
10 260
11 100
12 50
13 20
14 300
15 230
Total Flocks: 15 Total Birds: 2757

Comments: In those days we had our 4th field trip. Our objectives was to do two main activities: "Brant Population" and "I'm an Ecologist". During the trip we had the opportunity to read some e-mails of "Brant-fans". In the field we worked in subgroups (12 students in total). Ones evaluate the Brant Population and the others playing like "ecologists". The counting of Brant Population was hard, because the birds were out of the bay. The reason: HUNTING (we count 41 shots in 90 minutes!). During November we didn’t see or hear very much the hunters, we count ~2,000, close to old cemetery site, but far away, we saw a lots of them, ~20, 000 in the whole bay.

27. Comments: A warm, clear, windless morning on the estuary. We saw 4 small flocks of 4 - 6 brant swimming past. One group hauled out on the mud across the narrow inlet from us. None had bands. Just a month ago, one could't get within 200 yards of these birds because they were being hunted. Now that the season is over, these birds are becoming incredibly tame.

28. Site: Samish Spit - Time: 11:45 - Tide: High slack - Brant Count: 350 to 400 birds; they were scattered, indistinct flocks (Is anyone seeing discrete, countable flocks?)
Time: 1345 - Tide: High ebb - Brant Count: Saw 35 fly in and disappear behind the spit at the north end.

Comments: We were surprised to see so many brant so close to the end of Samish spit at high tide, usually at high tide they are really far out in the water. It was very hard to keep a good count of the Brant because of the constant movement of the birds. The Sharp-shinned hawk at Swinomish spit was beautiful!

29. Observation 1: Site: South Slough Bridge. Time: 3:30 - 4:14pm.  Comments:   Amanda, Doug, Mike, Danyelle, Tari, Jacob, Randy, Angie, Savannah, JJ, Chris, Kenneth, Aunna, Orion, Walt and Celeste walked from Charleston School to the South Slough Bridge to identify birds on the bay. The Brant are usually just around a bend in the bay from this point so we could not see them from this vantage. We did see a California Sea Lion, surf scoters, pelagic cormorants, great blue herons, western gulls, herring gulls, common goldeneyes, and possibly a brandts cormorant and a ring necked duck.

Observation 2: Site: Fossil Point. Time: 5:15pm. Number of Birds: 59. Comments: Mike Graybill, manager at South Slough Reserve, saw several leg bands but did not have a chance to read them. By the time I counted the brant, they were all in the water. They seem to prefer eating the sea lettuce and were really going to town on that stuff! They were also acting a little aggressively towards each other, stretching their necks out and chasing each other.

Once again, this is a high number of Brant to be seen here in Coos Bay at this early date! At Charleston School, we are curious to know if the overall number of Brant will be greater this year at our site, or if they are just arriving earlier and will leave earlier and we will see the same numbers of Brant that we usually do (no more than about 1,000).

30. Comments: Observers: Julie Turner, Will Anderson, Jaime Dahlstedt, Bryan Barnwell, and Anaka Mines. Site: Samish Bay. Time: 11:25-11:45. Tide: low ebb Wind: SE. Brant Flock Count: indistinct flocks to the West of spit. # of individuals: 500-600. Scattered flocks to the south-east of spit: 150.  Site: March's Point. Time: 13:47. Tide: low flood. Wind: SE. Brant Count: 40 individuals scattered in small groups of 6-12 birds.

We had a rainy rough day out today. While we were searching for brant we saw 7 bald eagles fighting over prey. The brant were bobbing up and down in the waves and were feasting on eelgrass in the water. We were surprised that the birds were not up on Samish Spit with the low tide; perhaps they have enough gravel in their gizzard from the last couple weeks. We also saw brant for the first time at march's point where there are 2 oil refineries. Last year the wintering birds did not use that spot.

31. Comments: Observers: Susan Hootman, Celeste Carlisle. Site: Fossil Point. Time: 11:00am. Tide: High ebb. Brant count: 69. We went out to see if we could read a few bands, but most of the birds were in the water. Ten more birds than yesterday, though!

32. Observers: Jordan Davidson, Brian Miller, Veronica Tinoco, Anaka Mines

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Samish Spit 11:20 High, Ebb North West 0
DNR Access, Wharf Rd. 12:05 High, Ebb   5
Swinomish Spit 13:15 Medium, Ebb   350-450
Fidalgo Bay,
March Point, North Texas Rd.
1:50 Medium, Ebb   40

Comments: Today was the first day that we didn't see any brant at Samish Spit, the tide was unusually high. At Swinomish Spit they were standing up on the sand bar, flapping and preening, a northern harrier flushed them. In Fidalgo bay, they were eating eelgrass. The weather was windy and rainy around 50 degrees F.

33. Observers: Joey, David, Ashley, Sarah, Crystal, Angie, Kenny, Amanda, Chris, Savannah, Matthew S., Matthew F., Justin, Joshua, Jessica, Naomi, Alicia, Krys, Leah, Maggie, Aaron, Nick, Celeste

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Point Adams, looking towards Fossil Point 16:00 - 16:30 High flood North 123

Comments: The Bay Birdwatch Club walked a mile from the school to the observing site during the ONLY time that it was not POURING rain!! We count ourselves very lucky! From Point Adams, we looked east towards Fossil Point and saw the brant floating about in the water or standing on algae-covered rocks. For some members, it was a first time to see brant!!
Other birds seen were a large raft of surf scoters, some buffleheads and lots of gulls.

34. Observers: Natalie Nevitt, Danielle Broadgate, Brian Boe, Aaron Voorhees, Anaka Mines

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Samish Spit 11:00 High Slack   140
DNR access, Wharf Road 12:00 High Ebb   100+
March Point 13:45 High Ebb   20

Comments: The water was choppy, and it was windy. Later in the day, the sun came out the temperature warmed up to about 56 F. We saw a large group of around 80 common loons west of Samish spit . The brant at March Point were really well lit so we could see there neck rings. They were munching on eelgrass.

35. Observers: Kyle Davis, Kellen Schimke, Angela Thurmond, Anaka Mines

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Alice Bay Inlet 10:50 low ebb   29
Samish Spit 11:40 low slack   50
March Point 13:15 low flood   82

Comments: Today was a really windy day, it was hard to see the brant because of the wind and waves. We saw an eagle feeding on a duck while standing on a tree branch. We went to a new site in Alice Bay, and saw brant flying. It will be interesting to see how much the brant use this site as the migration progresses.

36. Hello All Branters!

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Fossil Point 4:30 - 5:30 PM low ebb   223

The brant were VERY busy h-ronking and chattering and eating sea lettuce. They didn't pay any particular attention to being watched through scopes and so one could move fairly close to them without disturbing them.   Some bands were seen, though only a few were read with any certainty as it  was getting dark: T3A (yellow, right), N32 (green, right)

Response from David Ward:

The capture and resighting histories on the 2 brant sighted at Fossil Pt (Coos Bay), Oregon on 2/10/98 are as follows:

Yellow T3A was an adult female when originally banded in July 1989 near Hooper Bay in Western Alaska. So she is at least ??? years of age. She was also seen on the breeding grounds in western Alaska in 1991, 1992, and 1993.  Green N32 was an adult male when captured near Teshekpuk Lake in northern Alaska in July 1991. So he is at least ??? years of age. He was also seen wintering in Mexico in 1992 and 1993. Perhaps, you sighted these 2 birds as they were migrating north?

37. Greetings Branters!

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Hungryman's Cove 16:30 low ebb   545

Charleston Elementary will be embarking on their class field trips this week and next to see the brant before they head on out of here! Meanwhile, Bay Birdwatchers have been seeing lots of different waterfowl on our estuary each week, including surf scoters, great blue herons, golden eyes,
Pacific Loons. We are also seeing lots of sea lions -all males- near the fish packing plant. Attendance for our Bay Birdwatchers club is high, ranging from 16-23 students each week!

37a. Observers: Jorge Caro, Lorena Godínez, Cristina Odette. Secundaria No. 85, "Pioneros del Valle" y Secundaria No. 35 "Emiliano Zapata"

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
North of Old cemetary 11:30 High ebb   170

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds
Flock number Number of birds
1 7
2 8
3 15
4 37
5 50
6 09
7 44
Total Flocks: 7 Total Birds: 170

Comments: We saw 5 boats with hunters. All birds were nervous by the activity. The Brants were staying around the principal mouth of the lagoon. We know that there are lots of Brants in the bay, but we couldn’t see them.

37b. Observers: Mayra Rocha, Linet Bautista. Secundaria No. 85, "Pioneros del Valle" y Secundaria No. 35 "Emiliano Zapata"

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count

Old Englishcemetary

11:30 High ebb   2289

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds
Flock number Number of birds
1 22
2 2000 in flight
3 50
4 100
5 117
Total Flocks: 5 Total Birds: 2289

37c. Observers: Adrian Santos, Luis López, Jesús Meza. Secundaria No. 85, "Pioneros del Valle" y Secundaria No. 35 "Emiliano Zapata"

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count

North of Old English Cemetary

12:00 High ebb   1611

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds
Flock number Number of birds
1 100
2 27
3 1000 flying
4 5
5 6
6 300
7 70
8 6
9 42
10 18
11 37
Total Flocks: 11 Total Birds: 1611

Comments: The Brants were very far away, doing the observation work difficult. We can not distinguish between the juveniles and the adults. The hunting season is ending and that is why the activity was increasing and it made the Brants very nervous and bigger amounts of birds remain in open sea.

37d. Observers: Edgar Torres y Alejandro Rodriguez. Secundaria No. 85, "Pioneros del Valle" y Secundaria No. 35 "Emiliano Zapata"

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count

Old English Cemetary

11:30 High ebb   1611

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds
Flock number Number of birds
1 12
2 9
3 18
4 19
5 22
6 49
7 35
8 14
9 42
Total Flocks: 9 Total Birds: 220

37e. Observers: Jesús Arce Ojeda and Isac Pineda Martínez. Secundaria Fransico T.Mujica

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Camino a Puerto Viejo 11:20 ebb   207

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds Juvenile/ Adult
1 02 Juveniles
1 06 ""
3 56 ""
1 28 Juveniles
1 08 "
1 02 Adults
2 43 ""
4 32 ""
1 30 ""
Total Flocks: 15 Total Birds: 207 Total Ad/Juv 107/100

38. Observers: Richard Burke, Seth Lily, Zach Bullock, Ryan Williams

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Samish Spit 11:20 low slack   400
Swinomish Spit 13:00 medium flood   4
March Point 13:26 medium flood   35

Comments: It was surprisingly cold and windy. We saw lots of other spectacular birds. We tried to look at the brant closer and didn't get too close before we flushed them out. Usually we don't approach them at all. Today we learned that that is a good policy. We met a man that feeds Eagles

38a. Observers:Marcia Guadalupe Amador and Isabel Correa Peralta. Secundaria Fransico T. Mujica

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Camino a Puerto Viejo 9:25 ebb   170

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds Juvenile/ Adult
1 33 Adultos
2 11 ""
1 15 ""
1 28 Juveniles
1 08 "
1 27 Adults
3 16 Juveniles
Total Flocks: 14 Total Birds: 170 Total Ad/Juv 118/52

38b. Observers: Class

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Palapita 9:25 ebb   170

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds Juvenile/ Adult
1 23 Adult
2 44 ""
3 27 ""
4 54 ""
5 08 "
6 08 Adults
Total Flocks: 6 Total Birds: 164 Total Ad/Juv 164/

38c. Observers:Class

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Frente a Mangles 12:00 ebb   475

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds Juvenile/ Adult
eating 23 Adults
eating 17 ""
1 13 ""
2 05 ‘’’
3 03 ""
eating 250 Adults
eating 06 ""
eating 028 ""
4 09 ""
eating 17 ""
5 04 ""
eating 21 ""
6 03 ""
7 75 ""
Total Flocks: 7 Total Birds: 475 Total Ad/Juv 475/

39. Observers: Sarah Baker, Nikki Clark, Dustin Sill, Jonathan Struthers, Anaka Mines

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Alice Bay Inlet 11:15 high ebb   400
Samish Spit 12:00 medium ebb   900
Swinomish Spit 13:30 low ebb   13
Fidalgo Bay 13:50 low ebb   190

Comments: The birds in Alice Bay were actively tipping up. We tried to see belly color and saw a few black-bellies, but couldn't identify most of them. While we were at the Samish Spit we saw five brant standing on the gravel four of them were grey-bellied and one black. We could see them gristing.  The large flock to the south of the spit was flushed while feeding by two
crab boats.

40. Observers: Sarah Baker, Nikki Clark, Dustin Sill, Jonathan Struthers, Anaka Mines

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Alice Bay Inlet 10:45 Low Slack   300+
Samish Spit 11:45 Low Flood   230

Comments: It was an exciting and sunny day. We saw a Merlin catch a Dunlin, and an Eagle eat a duck. In the morning when we stopped to look at the brant in Alice Bay, we parked behind a dike and Anaka got out to make sure they weren't too nervous. After just walking half way up the dike and stopping the entire flock flushed and flew away. They were at least 100 yards away! The birds here are extremely skiddish. We returned to Alice Bay in the afternoon and counted 320 birds on the west (visible) side of the spit, and then saw ~150 fly into the other side.

40a. Observers: Jose Luis Flores and Daniel Alberto Domínguez Juárez Secundaria Fransico T. Mujica

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Camino a Puerto Viejo 10:10 flood   76

Flock Information:

Flock number Number of birds Juvenile/ Adult
1 06 Juveniles
1 02 ""
1 07 ""
1 02 ""
1 13 "
1 11 ""
1 35 ""
Total Flocks: 7 Total Birds: 76 Total Ad/Juv 01/76

41. Observers: Merith Kallshian, Jamie Sweeney, Nikki Richter, TessaRose Allen and Anaka Mines

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Alice Bay Inlet 10:45-11:00 medium ebb   700
Samish Spit 11:30-12:00 medium ebb   500
Swinomish Spit 13:00-13:15 medium/low ebb   1000***
Fidalgo Bay 13:45 low ebb   250

(Note: This group flew in from the north probably with birds already counted from Samish Spit. For the day's total, these data should not be counted seperately.)

Comments: The number of brant that we are seeing each field day is increasing as spring migration picks up. We were lucky enough today to see large flocks in flight. We were more careful this week so as not to startle the brant. Our school, being the BayView Eagles, is proud to see a number of eagles each field day. We saw 14 ourselves today.

42. Observers: Mr. Eschler's 4th and 5th grade class, with one student in particular -MATT MEDEIROS-who really took charge of the counting and data gathering!! Way to go, Matt!!

Site Time Tide Wind Brant Count
Fossil Point 9:30 - 11:00 low ebb   400+

Comments: Fossil Point is the only rocky substrate found within Coos Bay. We spent a good while looking at the Brant, and Matt spent the entire time counting and recounting so that the numbers would be accurate. Looking across the bay, getting a count can be a slow and difficult task! We assume that there are probably more brant than could be seen. 14 Great Blue Herons were counted, also across the bay at Hungryman's Cove. Many surf scoters were seen. Many Pacific and Common loons. We also spent a great deal of time observing tidepool life, eelgrass and sea lettuce which has been grazed to a shortened length by our friends!!

43. Observers: Drew Young, Shawn White, Zach Prillhart, Joe Schibret, Linda Miller, Anaka Mines.

Location: Samish Bay Site: Alice Bay
Time: 10:45
Tide: Low ebb
Brant count: Flock 1: 500 - Flock 2: 450 to 500

Location: Padilla Bay
Site: Samish Spit
Time: 11:45
Tide: Low Slack
Brant count: 220 scattered to the south of the spit

Location: Fidalgo Bay
Site: March Point, No.Texas RD.
Time: 1:57
Tide: Medium Flood
Brant count: 178

Comments: It was a warm but cloudy day. We normaly see between 15 and 30 bald eagles but we only saw 12 today. At Alice Bay we saw 60 great blue herons. We are used to seeing great blue herons alone. We were surprised when we saw the brant get so scared when an eagle flew by about 75 meters away. They are so skittish! We were lucky enough to get a chance to look at the young female prairie falcon that has been here this winter, she'll surely be gone soon.

44. Greeting Fellow Branters, A very exciting day for Bay Birdwatch yesterday --here's the scoop:  Observers: Bradley Kelley, Justin McGinness, Doug Rowe, Maggie Smith, Charles Collins, Amanda Sommer, Cassie Mills, Summer Harvey, Brianna Elbert, JJ Tompkins, Walt Tompkins (JJ's father), Erik (Walt's friend), and Celeste Carlisle

Location: Coos Bay, OR
Site: Fishing pier next to South Slough Bridge
Time: 3:30-4:15pm
Tide: High
Brant count: 101

Comments: This being a normal Bay Birdwatch activity, we did not expect to actually see any Brant since they are usually positioned just out of our line of site from the fishing pier where we observe birds each week. Lo and behold, there they were --across the bay, a little further south than they are usually seen. We were all incredibly excited! We also saw surf scoters, mew gulls, buffle heads, loons in winter and breeding plumage, and several male California sea lions. The most surprising thing we witnessed was a sea lion become agitated with a mew gull who had been pestering him for a fish he was trying to eat. The sea lion grabbed that gull right out of the air and thrashed his head back and forth, smashing that gull to bits on the surface of the water!!  All in all, we had a sunny and bright day, an excellent group of bird watchers, and exciting stories to bring home!     (Celeste Carlisle)

45. Observers/Observador: Jacob Haddock, Jordan Davidson, Anaka Mines, Cathy Angell

Location/Localizacion: Padilla Bay
Site/Sítio: Samish Spit
Time/Hora: 11:15 Tide/Marea: Medium Ebb / Intermedio Bajando
Brant Count/Cuenta de Brantas:170

Location/Localizacion: Padilla Bay
Site/Sítio: Swinomish Spit
Time/Hora: 1:05 Tide/Marea: Low Ebb / Baja Bajando
Brant Count: ~1500

Location/Localizacion: Padilla Bay
Site/Sítio: March Point
Time/Hora: 1:18 Tide/Marea: Low Ebb / Baja Bajando
Brant Count: 150

Location/Localizacion: Fidalgo Bay
Site/Sítio: Texaco Pipeline Access
Time/Hora: 1:55 Tide/Marea: Low Ebb / Baja Bajando
Brant Count: 85
Tarsus Bands/ Banda de Pierna:

Localizacion: Fidalgo Bay, Pipeline Access
Reading bands from top to bottom/Leyendo las bandas de parte altas a mas bajas:
1st: White/Blanca A N 5
2nd: White/Blanca Z A ( outline of a heart/ un corazón)

Comments: We normaly pass an empty heron rookery on our circuit. Today there was a heron above each nest, it was really cool! There were at least 50 nests with birds, though they weren't incubating, just standing above the nests. We didn't get out and look so as not to disturb the colony. It was fun to see the brant so close and read their bands, we had to be sneaky to not flush them.

Commentario: Normalmente pasamos por una colonia de nidos de garza que es vacío. Hoy habia una garza encima de cada nido! Nos gusta mucho. Habian mas que 50 nidos con pajaros, pero no estuvan incubando, simplemente se estaban posado encima de los nidos. No bajamos de nuestro carro para impedir interrupcíon. Estaba divertido ver las brantas tan cerca y leer sus bandas. Teníamos tener cuidado para no las levantar.

Espero que puedan entender mi Espanol!

46. Greetings Branters, I received a call today from a man who lives in Bandon, which is about a half hour south of Coos Bay. He saw several brant down there -a little unusual as they are "normally" seen in Coos Bay, not Bandon. I realize that the number seen wasn't amazing in and of itself, but it IS interesting that brant were seen in Coquille.

Observer: Jim Furniss
Location: Bandon, Oregon
Site: Coquille River
Tide: ?
Time: ?
Brant count: 7

47. Hello Branters, We had a wonderful field trip today with Ms.Yovino's and Mrs. Neal's 4th and 5th grade classes. It was a little cloudy, but warm enough. Everyone got to see Brant!

Site: Point Adams, looking across to Fossil Point
Time: 11:00am to 12:00pm
Tide: Low
Brant count: 530

Comments: No gull-eating sea lions this time. We observed eelgrass and talked about it as a brant food source, watched the brant chasing each other, feeding and preening, and picked up a bit of trash. We saw white, blue, and yellow bands but from our distance, we could just tell that they were bands and could not read them.   The Brant are much more spread out than they have been. There were probably many more around the bend in the bay.

48. Observers/Observadores: Diane Schenk, Alysha Peacock, Sean Parent, Sarah Nelson and Anaka Mines

Location/Localización: Padilla Bay
Site/Sítio: Samish Spitt
Time/Hora: 11:30
Tide/Marea: High Flood / Alta Subiendo
Brant count / Cuenta de Brantas: 550

Location/Localización: Fidalgo Bay
Site/Sítio: Texaco Pipeline
Time/Hora: 1:42
Tide/Marea: High Ebb / Alta Bajando
Brant Count / Cuenta de Brantas: 53

Comments: The Brant were far away in the water. The water was choppy, the wind was a howlin' and cold. The Brant at Fidalgo Bay were hauled out on the spit preening. We saw two Turkey Vultures, the first for this years spring season.

Commentario: Las Branta estaban lejos en el agua. El agua estaba picado y el viento estaba fuerte y frio. Las Brantas en Bahia Fidalgo estaban fuera de agua en la punta arreglandose. Vimos dos gallinazos, los primeros de la primavera de esto año.

49. Hello Branters - An exciting thing happened....although I didn't see them, a friend of mine did (and was positive they were brant) so I thought I should post it!

Observer: Mark Amend
Tides: Low
Location: about 10 miles south of Newport, Oregon (70 miles north of Coos Bay)
Site: An ocean wayside (not a bay at all, but exposed, rocky ocean!)
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Brant Count: 13

Comments: This seems very odd to me to see brant right on the ocean, rather than in a protected bay. The tide was fairly low so there was some algae and plants on the exposed rocks. There is a known population of brant just north (10 miles) in Yaquina Bay (Newport) that overwinters - but we have no way of knowing if this was a subset of that population. No bands were observed.


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