Olympic this June

This June the Junior Staff of Earthplace is going on a week long nature expedition to the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington State.  Our leader, Margaret Ardwin, is a great birder and naturalist.  Unfortunately, our other leader, Jim Hunter, is on sick leave, so none other than Sean Murtha (my dad)  will be taking his place on this trip as co-leader and naturalist.  On this trip we are going to be exploring the rainforests and coastline of the Olympic peninsula, which hold birds like Varied Thrush, Spotted Owl, Wandering Tattlers, and multitudes of other Seabirds and Forest Birds of the pacific region.  Other things we will do is hike Mt. Rainer (great for mountain birds) and might do whale-watches, which, besides sea mammals, could produce alcids like Rhinoceros Auklet,  Shearwaters like Flesh-footed, pharalopes, Storm-petrels, and possibly even an albatross (I can’t get my hopes up.)

It’s certaintly shaping up to be the birding highlight of the year.

Heerman's Gull, a bird I hope to see on this trip. (photo taken in San Diego, 2010, by Sean Murtha)

2 responses to “Olympic this June

  1. Oooh you’re lucky. I certainly did not get a lot of the birds that you will get, seeing as you will actually be allowed to go birding all the time 🙂 Sounds like a great trip. From what I saw when I went, I can’t tell you much, and you shouldn’t really trust what I say because I didn’t bird that much but lets see…. Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Black Oystercatchers, Harlequin Ducks, Bald Eagles, California Gulls, Glaucous-winged Gulls, Common Nighthawks, Vaux’s Swifts, Pacific-Slope Flycatchers, Steller’s Jays, Northwestern Crows, and Red Crossbills are all abundant. I did not hear or see a single Varied Thrush, but perhaps you will be luckier than I. I’m also not sure about Heermann’s Gull.. I think they’re more around Port Townsend Bay, but again, I’m sure you can see them, especially on your whale-watching trip. You might also find Black Turnstones, “Sooty” Fox Sparrows, Pacific Wrens, and Rufous Hummingbirds. Spotted Owls are reeeeally rare, so you would be lucky to get them. That’s all I can really say. Plus the environment is soooo cool: Huge trees, everything covered in moss, giant ground plants that make you feel like a hobbit. You will love it .


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