ClintonCoupevilleDestination WhidbeyFreelandGreenbankLangleyOak HarborPlacesThings to Do on Whidbey July 19, 2021

Bird Watching on Whidbey Island

w, Birds, humming bird, Robin, Eagle

50 miles South of the U.S./Canada border and 25 miles North of Seattle lies Whidbey Island, an incomparable destination for nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. On Whidbey, you can get lost for hours and find yourself mesmerized not only by incredible views but by a breathtaking variety of birds.

Whidbey Boasts 148 miles of winding shoreline, 6 state parks, 4 lakes, hundreds of miles of trail, and a ridiculous variety of habitats from bogs to estuaries to the prairie. It is not surprising then that Whidbey accommodates roughly 250 resident and migrant bird species.

Birds of Whidbey, Views, Hikes, Trails, State Parks, Lakes, Whidbey

Birdwatchers will declare some of the best times to watch for birds on Whidbey are:

Spring:

Late April through May you can expect to be woken early by the Songbirds singing a pleasant tune.

Songbirds, Birds of Whidbey, Birdwatching, Whidbey Island

Fall:

Late July through September It is hard not to miss fat red-breasted Robins filling the apple trees and spot migrant visitors from the north like wigeons, ducks, coots, waterfowl, and red-tailed hawks.

Birds of Whidbey,

Winter:

November through mid-March is a great time of year to watch for Northern Shrike, Bald Eagles, and other raptor-type birds.

Birds of Whidbey< birdwatching, Eagles, Owls, island life

 

Best places for birdwatching:

If you are just trying to take advantage of easily accessible shoreline almost any time of year works. Some of the best places to watch for shorebirds birds on Whidbey Island are Penn Cove, Keystone Landing, Fort Casey State Park, and Dugualla Bay.

If you don’t live on Whidbey and are coming just for birdwatching be sure to schedule more than one day for viewing. Plan time so you can experience multiple locations, each with its unique features. To better understand all the places you can access the shoreline you really need to buy Getting to the Waters Edge! We sell it at our Windermere offices both in Oak Harbor and Coupeville.

Frequently asked questions:

Some people wonder if there is a time of day that birds are most animated. Typically speaking most birds are bustling around sunrise and sunset but that rule does not apply to all birds. For example, the morning is typically the best time for spotting diurnal species, while nocturnal species are generally spotted in the evening, but it really depends on the bird and the time of year.

Whidbey Island is native to species like Eagles, Northern Harriers, wading birds, loons, grebes, sea ducks, including Harlequin Ducks, dabbling ducks, Black Oystercatchers, Common Yellowthroats, Marsh Wrens, and more. It is also is a temporary home for migrant birds who frequent the island seasonally for the island’s ideal breeding habitats.  But do not be fooled. Some birds like robins, hawks, cardinals, finches, sparrows, and more stay here all year but they seem to “return” because they become active again during the spring through fall seasons after they have bundled down in their nests and shelters during the winter.

Additional resources:

To learn more about the birds that can be spotted on Whidbey and a guide for when you will likely catch a glimpse check out this detailed Whidbey Island Bird List created by the Whidbey Audubon Society.

Here are some of our favorite spots on Whidbey to watch for birds let us know your favorite spots in the comments below.

 

Things to Do on Whidbey June 30, 2021

Staying Cool This Summer

Staying Cool This Summer

Staying cool this summer, Whidbey island

Water activities are something particularly special to Whidbey Island. After all, we are completely surrounded by water. With the sun making more and more guest appearances in the sky you can place a good bet on the expectation of increased activity on the waves. Between kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, and more; Whidbey shores offer quite a bit of enjoyment for those willing to get wet.

Below are just a few water activities frequently seen here on Whidbey.

Kayaking

Kayaking is easily an island favorite when it comes to water sports. The flexibility of kayaking regardless of weather and the ability to do it alone is a HUGE plus for many. Don’t have your own Kayak? Rent one from Whidbey Island Boats and Boards where you pick the location and they deliver the kayaks and paddleboards anywhere on the island.

Todd, Kayak, Water activities on whidbey, Summer Fun, Windermere Real Estate Todd, Kayak, Water activities on whidbey, Summer Fun, Windermere Real Estate

 

Tubing

Another island favorite, especially in the summer, is tubing! The wonderful thing about tubing is the community feel to it. It’s a great activity that brings people together and almost always results in a few humorous stories.

Water Sports on Whidbey Windermere Real Estate, Kids , Tubing, Whidbey Island, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

Water Skiing

Want to kick tubing up a notch? Water skiing is for you! This sport requires a bit more resilience and core strength, but once you get it down you are sure to leave the water with some epic pictures of yourself.

Water Skiing, Water Sports on Whidbey Water Skiing, Water Sports on Whidbey

 

Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding is a slightly newer interest on the island, but well deserving of the hype. This sport is made for those who simply want to enjoy the water. Sit, stand, lay down, it doesn’t matter! Paddleboarding allows you to enjoy the sea the way you want to.

Paddel Boarding, Jennifer, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Washington, Island life, Water Paddel Boarding, Jennifer, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, Washington, Island life, Water

Sailing

Sailing is a Whidbey Island classic. There is a long history of sailing on Whidbey that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Water Sports on Whidbey

Boating

Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities

Another beloved activity on Whidbey is boating. Avid boaters will get out on the water any chance they get to relax atop the calm waters surrounding Whidbey. Take in the scenery, sunbathe, read a book, or play a game. All are welcomed while relaxing at sea.

Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities, Read a book Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities, Play a Game

Fishing

Perhaps fishing is more up your alley for a fun relaxing time. The great thing about fishing is that you can do it by boat or by land and Whidbey offers a plethora of opportunities.

Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities, fishing Boating on Whidbey, Stay cool, Summer vibes, relax, Ocean, Stay cool, water activities, fishing

Splash Pad and Lagoon at City Beach

Maybe you have littles that can’t quite participate in some of the other activities yet. Oak Harbor Windjammer park offers a family-friendly splash pad and lagoon to keep the whole family cool on these hot summer days.

Splash Pad, Oak Harbor, Citty Beach, Windjammer Park, Local, stay cool Water, whidbey island, City Beach, Windjammer Park, Oak Harbor, Whidbey island Lagoon, Whidbey island, Oak Harbor, City Beach, Windjammer, Park

If you enjoyed this blog, you might also enjoy:

Whidbey Island Wineries & Distilleries

Whidbey Island Wineries & Distilleries

 

 

LangleyThings to Do on Whidbey April 19, 2021

The Gray Whales Return to Whidbey

Gray Whales Return to Whidbey

As the cold melts away and flowers start to bloom again, Whidbey Island is blessed with a rare and wonderful gift. Many people hike to the very tip of a bluff or edge of the waves hoping to catch a glimpse of this phenomenon. Then it happens – water spurts into the air from nowhere and at the surface, you can just barely see a tail appear.

Oh, what a whale of a tale to tell….

Gray Whales, Whidbey, Ocean, Sea life, whale, Washington, waters, welcome Back

Spring brings with it a special excitement for this curious island. As the waters warm, they welcome back one of our favorite travelers; the gray whale! Migrating every year from their winter home in Mexico to the wild waves of Alaska; gray whales often make a special stop within the waters of the Puget Sound.

As food foragers, the gray whale “dig[s] up the mudflats [on the ocean floor] for shrimp and worms.”1 They then filter these small creatures through their baleen, or whalebone, which acts as a strainer to keep the food in their mouth and push out all the water.2

Given their foraging requirements, gray whales’ proximity to the shore and repetitive presence in the Puget Sound comes as little surprise. While the average depth of the Pacific Ocean is a little over 12,000 feet, Puget Sound’s deepest point is approximately 930 feet. The shallow waters of the sound serve as a great benefit to this massive mammal that relies on both oxygen and access to the ocean floor in order to survive.

On Whidbey Island, we take great joy in the return of these travelers every year. Many islanders and tourists alike find their way to the water’s edge and peer into the waves in hopes of a glimpse. Luckily, sightings are not at all uncommon on the island. To commemorate the love we have for these ocean friends, both Coupeville and Langley have erected what is called a “Whale Bell.” These bells have a simple instruction: “See a whale, ring the bell.” These bells serve as both a monument to the whale’s impact on our island culture and a creative way to notify others of the whale’s presence so they can also look out and see!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Burt Beusch (@burt_beusch)

Every year the town of Langley has pulled together to commemorate the beginning of whale season. Complete with a parade, this festival speaks volumes of the love islanders have for their precious whales. Unfortunately, the event has been canceled this year due to covid for the health and safety of the community continue to check back here for updates. While the ring of the bell brings joyous memories of years past residences and travelers alike look forward to a day where gatherings return to celebrate these incredible creatures.

 

References

  1. “Gray Whales.” Orca Network, https://www.orcanetwork.org/Main/index.php?categories_file=Gray%20Whales
  2. “Gray Whales.” National Geographic, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/g/gray-whale/

You might also like:

Water Sports on Whidbey, Tori, Kayaking

Uncategorized April 8, 2021

Get the Buck Out of My Yard

Have you ever been standing there admiring your gardens when a deer walks in and decides it is time for lunch? So have we.

get the buck out of my yard

They are the wild and majestic creatures of Whidbey Island, often found in the peaceful pastures of Ebey’s Landing or beneath the cooling tree shade of the state parks. They are elegant, graceful, mesmerizing… and frankly a pain in the arbor.

Oh deer, oh deer, oh deer.

Deer Landscaping, Wildlife, Whidbey Island, Whdibey, Gardening, Landscaping, deer, animals, vegetation, Buck, yard, Windermere, real estate

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE our Whidbey Island deer and are grateful to live in a place where wildlife feels welcomed. However, if you’ve been working hard cultivating that garden all year long, the last thing you are interested in is a handful of fauna munching on the fruit of your labor. To top it off, deer can carry ticks with Lyme disease which can be extremely harmful to both humans and their dogs.

Sorry Bambi, but no one messes with mans’ best friend.  

We’ve done a little research and decided to give you a hand with those pretty, yet pesky visitors.

 

5 pro-tips to get the grazers out of your garden.

Garden, flowers, bird house, yard, whidbey island, real estate, curb appeal, wildlife

  1. Cut ‘em Off! – It might seem like the most obvious solution, but fences are always a great first step to keeping out unwanted guests. Although deer are great jumpers, the additional effort required might just be enough of a deterrent. < We’re all a little lazy.
  2. Don’t Plant Tasty Treats – Deer LOVE plants rich in nutrients, moisture, and basically anything else your doctor said you should eat more of. This includes almost all produce plants as well as leafy ivy and bright, water-filled flora. Instead of these, try planting pungent flowers like lavender with greenery that is thorny, hairy, or prickly. You can also use these less desirable plants as a natural barrier for the tastier ones. If all deer see and smell is lambs’ ear and snapdragons, odds are they won’t investigate much further.
  3. Let Rover Out More – Chances are your dog is like most others and DOES NOT see grazing deer as welcome guests. Barking dogs are a big deterrent for deer. Who wants to eat with someone yelling at you? Eventually, the deer will likely decide your home isn’t a safe place to eat and won’t return.
  4. Shine a Light on the Situation – Deer are more skittish than the commitment-phobe you dated in college. Installing motion-sensitive floodlights can often leave a deer stunned and anxious to get away as fast as they can.
  5. Live a Little! – Although we might find them beautiful and nice to look at, deer aren’t that excited about us. Chances are if a deer sees you out and about in the yard they will simply turn around and find someone else’s garden to plunder. So, get outside more! See this as an opportunity to re-imagine your yard and incorporate more outside living space. Your health and your hydrangeas will thank you.

You might also like: 

Woman Gardening

Coupeville Garden Club Virtual Plant Sale – 2021