[Tweeters] Coast trip report

Cara Borre cmborre1 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 25 07:26:58 PDT 2013


Scouting an upcoming field trip, I can report the shorebirds have arrived
and "going coastal" will be well worth your time. I wish I come promise
you the fabulous weather we enjoyed, but the birds shouldn't disappoint.

We stopped at Brady Loop both ways. The early morning stop yielded lots of
passerines including thousands (exaggeration) of Savannah Sparrows, 2
Chipping Sparrows, Pipits, Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers as
well as Common Yellowthroat, swallows, Meadowlarks... The trip was
designated for shorebirds so we breezed through, but on a nice day you
could easily spend 2 hours on the loop. Shorebirds included Black-bellied
Plover, Killdeer with kids, Greater Yellowlegs, Dunlin, Long-billed
Dowitchers. Coming home was even better as we added Lesser Yellowlegs,
Whimbrel, Least Sandpiper and a single Short-billed Dowitcher. Raptors on
Brady Loop included Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle and
American Kestrel.

Next stop was Hoquiam STP which was a bust for us (remember Shorebirds is
the theme) worth a stop if you love Caspian Terns and you never know what
you might find.

Then to Bill's Spit in Ocean Shores for high tide. Always an awesome stop.
Here we found the huge flocks of Marbled Godwit, Short-billed Dowitchers,
Dunlin, Western Sandpipers, a few Least Sandpipers, Black-bellied Plover,
Semipalmated Plover, 3 Whimbrel (away from the flock) and 4 Greater
Yellow-legs.

The Game Range was flooded for shorebirds but there were the expected ducks.

Point Brown Jetty was disappointing on this first visit but we doubled back
the next day and found Surfbirds, Black Turnstones and 2 Rock Sandpipers.
We had to climb the Jetty and look on the other side to find the flock.

Tokeland was a bit disappointing but there were a few Godwits feeding, not
the huge flock. No Willets. Graveyard Spit is worth a stop if you are in
the area and the tide is right (Godwits, Black-bellied Plover, Western
Sandpiper, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitcher)

Bottle Beach of course was the highlight. This must be timed with high
tide but you will get the best shorebird views here. Pretty much the same
cast of characters (Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Greater
Yellowlegs, Whimbrel (fly by), Western Sandpiper, Dunlin and Short-billed
Dowitcher), but if you scan through the Short-billed Dowitchers you might
spot an occasional Red Knot (we found 3).

A Fabulous two days on the coast made much more enjoyable by the excellent
weather. We also got to see several Peregrine attacks including an
unfortunate Least Sandpiper at Grayland Beach. Shortly afterward the
Peregrine came to drink and bath in a small pond right in front of us
allowing photos and video.

Cheers,
Cara Borre
Gig Harbor
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