This is an amazing tour! We will hit 8 of the Top 10 Birding Hotspots in the State of Washington (according to eBird “Explore a Region” – July 2015). We will start at the northerly tip of the Kitsap Peninsula in Puget Sound. This is the top birding hotspot in the State of Washington according to eBird’s Explore a Region. Over 160 species have been recorded in the month of October. This includes more than 20 species of waterfowl, 4 species of loons, 6 species of grebes, 13 species of gulls, all 3 jaegers, and an amazing 6 species of alcids. One of the greatest allures here is the possibility of seeing alcids—birds usually only found at sea by boat—from dry land. We’ll be looking for Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Marbled Murrelet, and Rhinoceros Auklet. Ancient Murrelet winter here and we’ll be on the cusp of their arrival here. Wow! What a start!
We will drive along the north edge of the Olympic Peninsula and bird at the northwest corner of the state at Neah Bay where we will look for more alcids, gulls, and waterfowl. We’ll back through the Kitsap Peninsula and out to the Pacific Ocean at Grays Harbor. This place is not only terrific for waterfowl and gulls, but is a powerful magnet for shorebirds.
Finally we’ll head back up to the southern end of Puget Sound and bird one of the best National Wildlife Refuges in the State—Nisqually. We’ll finish up birding some of the very best local hotspots in the Seattle area.
Some of the birds we’ll search for in addition to the birds listed above include Red-breasted Sapsucker, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Hutton’s Vireo, Varied Thrush, Northwestern Crow, Mew Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Heermann’s Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Brandt’s Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Western Grebe, Parasitic Jaeger, Black Oystercatcher, Black Turnstone, Surfbird, Harlequin Duck, and Northern Shrike.
The scenery will be stunning! We will almost always have majestic mountains in view. And the fjords of the Puget Sound will make you feel like you are in a different land. And then there is the enchanting Pacific Coast along the Olympic Peninsula. The beauty is so rich and beautiful it just might make your eyes tear up. And I do hope you like eating good, fresh seafood!