[Tweeters] 4-day SW WA Loop

zuckerbond zuckerbond at comcast.net
Wed Apr 17 22:50:59 PDT 2013


Hello Tweeters,

I spent Sat-Tues on a solo driving loop of some great SW WA birding spots.
It tended to pour rain or hail while I was driving, and was mostly sunshine
and rainbows and wind when I got out to bird. Some highlights:

Sat 4/13 Theler Wetlands, Belfair, in the AM: Didn't catch the tide right.
Nice hovering Kestrel. I wanted to get out there again before the rumored
dike removal work later this year. I also love their highly interpretive
native plant garden.

Grays Harbor-NWR in the PM: Hit a very high tide. Had a nice dozen or so
each of: Black-bellied Plovers, Yellowlegs, Dowitchers, and Dunlin. 3 Turkey
Vultures. Lotsa Pintail ducks. A Sharp-shinned Hawk near the STPs.

Sun 4/14 Tokeland in the AM: Hit a falling tide and had good views of the
Marbled Godwit flock, 25+ Black-bellied Plovers, some Willets, and a few
Sandpipers on the shellfish beds. Plenty of loons and grebes in deeper
water.

Leadbetter Point in the PM: 3-4000 Dunlin gathered on the bay side at high
tide. Plus 25+ Dowitchers & 25+ Yellowlegs. I was just sneaking up on them
when a dark Merlin had the Dunlin up in a ball for quite a chase. Also
thousands of Brant on the bay.

Mon 4/15 Cape Disappointment in the early AM: Sandy or Buff-colored
Peregrine fly-by at the lighthouse. Pigeon Guillemots and Surf Scoters down
below.

Julia Butler Hansen NWR at midday: Construction closed Steamboat Slough Rd.
in the middle, making a loop impossible. Did see lots of Cackling Geese,
including at least one Aleutian, which Wikipedia says: ".was one of 122
species of animals, birds and fish first documented for science by the Lewis
and Clark Expedition (Corps of Discovery)." Great photo of Osprey nest on
the Elochoman River Bridge in this blog post:
http://www.biketouringtips.com/showDailyEntryDetail.php?entryID=261

Ridgefield NWR in the PM: Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Great Egret, Harriers,
Ruddy Ducks, Snipe, Dowitchers, Yellowlegs, Yellow-headed blackbird, Bald
Eagles on a low nest near the end of the auto loop.

Tues 5/16 Nisqually NWR: Flock of 20 Greater White-fronted Geese on a pond
inside the dike out by the start of the boardwalk. 2 Snow Geese mixed in
with the Cacklers near the visitor's center. 2 pr. Cinnamon Teal.

Four days straight seems to be about my limit! -Mary Bond, Seattle

PS: I can recommend good lodging and food if anyone is headed down for the
GH Shorebird Festival, Westport Pelagic trips, or other SW WA adventures.
-MB



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