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

Posted by Bob Sundstrom


Bob Sundstrom

Bob Sundstrom has led VENT tours since 1989 to many destinations throughout North America, as well as Hawaii, Mexico, Belize, Trinidad & Tobago, Japan, Turkey, Iceland,...

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The rush of migration in September concentrates birds along Washington and southern British Columbia’s mountain ridges, coastal shorelines, and over the ocean itself. The September Migration in the Pacific Northwest tour takes full advantage of nature’s timing to showcase shorebirds, seabirds, and songbirds in the midst of southward migration. It seemed like each species we encountered had a unique story to tell: seabirds headed south to such different destinations as Antarctica, New Zealand, and Chile. Shorebirds passing through en route to Central and South America, as well as shorebirds arriving to winter in the Northwest. Post-breeding migrants that had just come north—pelicans, gulls, cormorants—arriving from Baja and places south along the Pacific Coast to reach food-rich waters of the Northwest. And loons and scoters coming south from nesting on tundra ponds across the Arctic, as Fox and Golden-crowned sparrows also arrived from northern breeding areas.

The 2017 tour enjoyed superb weather, an admirable list of birds, a wonderfully congenial group, plus great food and a memorable journey through the scenic Northwest. We birded from Seattle to the Pacific Coast and then north along the Olympic Peninsula before crossing to Whidbey Island and then on to British Columbia—a loop that ran all the way from Willapa Bay in southwest Washington to Boundary Bay in southeast British Columbia.

Read Bob’s full report in his Field List.