Washington: September Migration in the Pacific Northwest: Sep 17—25, 2017

Register NowTour Details

Price: $3,450
Departs: Seattle
Tour Limit: 7
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (108.3 KB)

Route Map

September_migration__pacific_nw__context__web

Tour Leaders

Sundstrom__bob_3960_most_recent_r

Bob Sundstrom

Bob Sundstrom has led VENT tours since 1989 to many destinations throughout North America, a...


More Information

I have specific questions about this tour.

Tour Reports:

show more...

Past Field Lists:

show more...

Future Tour Dates:


Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Black-footed Albatross

Black-footed Albatross— Photo: Barry Zimmer

The September Migration tour coincides with autumn migration’s wealth of seabirds, shorebirds, and songbirds along Pacific Northwest shorelines and offshore, plus excellent mountain birding through stunning evergreen forests into the subalpine zone.

September means superb birding in western Washington and nearby British Columbia. Migration is underway in many habitats. Wandering Tattlers, Black Turnstones, and Surfbirds forage over rocky shorelines, and this is one of the best points in the year to catch up with such North American rarities as Pacific Golden-Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, or Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. A full day along Boundary Bay south of Vancouver, B.C. puts us at one of the best shorebirding spots in the Pacific Northwest, where spectacular numbers of shorebirds and ducks may be concentrated.

A pelagic trip on a VENT private charter is a major bonus, a chance to visit offshore realms that host many thousands of seabirds in one of the most productive ocean areas in North America, and a great opportunity to study seabirds in their element. We should encounter scores of Black-footed Albatross, South Polar Skua, beautiful Sabine’s Gulls, three or four species of shearwaters (including Buller’s and Pink-footed), Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, Northern Fulmars, Pomarine and Parasitic jaegers, and alcids including Cassin’s and Rhinoceros auklets. Laysan Albatross and Flesh-footed Shearwater are seen on about half the trips, and Tufted Puffin on most trips.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Chestnut-backed Chickadee— Photo: Paul Reeves Photography/shutterstock

 

Starting in Seattle, we bird the Puget Sound lowlands for such Northwest specialties as Red-breasted Sapsucker, Hutton’s Vireo, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, and Golden-crowned and “Sooty” Fox sparrows. Departing migrants may include Black-throated Gray Warbler and Violet-green Swallow among others. Sooty Grouse, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Varied Thrush, Evening Grosbeak, and Red Crossbill are often seen on the Olympic Peninsula.

Post-breeding Harlequin Ducks and Red-necked Grebes have returned to the protected bays, as have scoters and mergansers, and Pacific and Red-throated loons are often seen. The Strait of Juan de Fuca shorelines promise Black Oystercatchers, Brandt’s and Pelagic cormorants, and Pigeon Guillemots. Thousands of migratory ducks are arriving, and Merlins and Peregrine Falcons can be a regular sight.

Very good to excellent accommodations and cuisine; 1-2 miles of steady, level walking on most days; one full-day pelagic trip; comfortably moderate weather conditions.