Skagit Audubon

Watching birds, protecting habitat, connecting with nature

Big Four Trip Report - June 21, 2018

          On Thursday, June 21, 20 hearty birders from Seattle north to Bellingham met at Big Four west of Granite Falls for the last of the spring field trips for Skagit Audubon.

          The recent hot and sunny streak was broken by an onshore flow that gave us low clouds and even a little mist in the air.  Nonetheless we walked, watched and listened in the parking lot and then on the trail to the Ice Caves.

Snow from the winter seemed to be heavier than in previous trips and a late avalanche left a fair amount of snow in front of the caves and all the way to the small trail end lunch spot.

          Cold air, low clouds and lack of birds turned us around fairly quickly after a snack.  Heading down the trail we gathered at the short trail between the two parking lots and watched a nice variety of birds working that area.  Sapsuckers were feeding young and using a small alder patch near the trail.  Several folks remarked at how close the sapsuckers flew to people and the trail as they went back and forth to the nest hole in a nearby snag.

          In the early afternoon the group broke up with nearly 40 species of birds seen including five species of woodpeckers.

          This popular field trip did not disappoint.  Thanks to trip leader Pam Pritzl for another wonderful hike at Big Four.  For the last two years Pam Pritzl and Jeff Osmundson have co-led this trip and we look forward to more opportunities in the future.

Big Four Ice Caves, Snohomish, Washington, US  , Jun 21, 2018 7:46 AM - 1:22 PM

39 species (+2 other taxa)

Harlequin Duck  1

Spotted Sandpiper  2

Black Swift  12

Vaux's Swift  24

Rufous Hummingbird  2

Belted Kingfisher  1

Red-breasted Sapsucker  2

Downy Woodpecker  1

Hairy Woodpecker  3

Northern Flicker  2

Pileated Woodpecker  1

woodpecker sp.  1

Olive-sided Flycatcher  4

Western Wood-Pewee  4

Willow Flycatcher  3

Pacific-slope Flycatcher  2

Warbling Vireo  5

Steller's Jay  3

Common Raven  1

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  8

Tree Swallow  5

Violet-green Swallow  1

Tree/Violet-green Swallow  1

Red-breasted Nuthatch  2

Brown Creeper  4

Pacific Wren  2

Bewick's Wren  1

Swainson's Thrush  11

American Robin  3

Varied Thrush  5

Cedar Waxwing  9

Common Yellowthroat  3

Yellow Warbler  3

Dark-eyed Junco  1

White-crowned Sparrow  5

Song Sparrow  2

Western Tanager  6

Black-headed Grosbeak  1

Red-winged Blackbird  3

Evening Grosbeak  3

American Goldfinch  2

View this checklist online at

More trip photos -


Skagit Audubon

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Skagit Audubon Society holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month except for the months of July and August. We meet at 7:00 pm at Padilla Bay Interpretive Center (Google map), 10441 Bayview-Edison Rd. Mount Vernon. Meetings are open to all.

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