Tag Archives: Glaucous-winged Gull

The 2023 Christmas Bird Count

The Cortes Island Museum has been sponsoring two birding events every year for the past two decades.* 2,873 birds were seen during the 2023 Christmas Bird Count, but this number would have been much higher if there were more participants. 

“We can only go to a certain number of places where we know there will be birds, and that’s mostly along the coastline,” explained Laurel Bohart, a keen birder as well as co-curator of Wild Cortes.

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Pink Salmon return to Cortes after 8 years, but water levels are too low

Part 2 of a series, click here for part 1.

Cortes Currents was mistaken in the original version of this story. The Chum run did not come into Basil Creek early this year – these are Pinks.

According to Cortes Island Streamkeeper Christine Robinson there have not been any Pink runs on Cortes since 2015 (when most of them perished in front of the culvert in Squirrel Cove), but there was a huge surplus this year.  Pinks are known to stray and find creeks other than their natal streams, and this may be an explanation for their presence on Cortes Island. They started to turn up in Squirrel Cove Creek two to three weeks ago, and Basil Creek and Chris’ Lagoon around Sept 28, but there does not appear to be enough water in the creeks for them.

Continue reading Pink Salmon return to Cortes after 8 years, but water levels are too low

Cortes Island 2023 Spring Bird Count & an app called ‘Merlin’

Local naturalist George Sirk was sick for the Cortes Island Spring Bird Count earlier this month, so bird watchers had to rely on a new app to help them identify species. This new app, called Merlin, is one of many topics that he and Nancy Kendel, from the Cortes Island Museum, discussed with Cortes Currents. 

The conversation started out with Kendel (NK) giving an overview:

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