[Tweeters] Sooty Shearwater Gathering

Carol Riddell cariddellwa at gmail.com
Mon Aug 26 10:50:55 PDT 2013

After spending a number of hours yesterday at the Ocean Shores Oyehut
Game Range (Smith's Longspur, yes!), I read Nigel Ball's post about
the Elegant Terns at Neah Bay. I had been wondering all week about the
possibilities along the upper coast so decided to check out La Push on
the long way home around the Peninsula. (No terns at La Push between 7
p.m. and sunset.) I stopped to scope from the Kalaloch Lodge in
Jefferson County and noticed a lot of Sooty Shearwaters heading north
and south. This is one of the great sights of Washington birding, for
the huge numbers. My next stop was a Highway 101 pull-out just north
of Kalaloch where you can get a great view of Destruction Island and
the coastal rocks. I was stunned to see the mass of shearwaters. They
were heading north and south, they were swirling around one area of
the waters like a giant whirlpool. They were on the water and in the
air. There was no way to count but if there were 10,000 birds, there
were a 100,000 birds. What an amazing spectacle. It left me with a
sense of the resilience of nature and perhaps a little optimism that
somehow, at least some wildlife, can survive despite destructive human

Carol Riddell

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