June on Yellow Island

Written & Recorded by Phil Green, Yellow Island Steward

The meadows are looking very brown with just scattered splotches of color other than a large patch of fireweed above the east spit, small groupings of harvest Brodiaea, nodding onion, and Puget Sound gumweed provide color here and there. A few cactus (<20) did their 24 bloom thing before withering. Seaside rein-orchid adds its white flowers to the flower mix scattered across the island.

Most days on Yellow Island, I upload a bird list to eBird and there are now more than 3000 Yellow Island daily checklists online! Recently eBird allowed uploading audio files with the checklists and the audio will become part of the Macaulay Library of natural sounds. This inspired me to get serious about recording bird songs and calls. I upgraded my recorder and signed up for Cornell’s Bird Recording Workshop held at San Francisco University Field Station located at an elevation of 6000’ in the Sierras June 11-18. The director of the Macaulay Library, Greg Budney, was the lead instructor for the class. For seven days we got up at 0430 and went out to various sites to record birds. It was a fabulous vacation!

The following are some of the recordings of Yellow Island birds that I wake up to every morning. Enjoy! (One of the recordings is from San Juan Island. Can you guess which one?)