[Tweeters] Thick-billed Murre and Short-tailed Shearwater at Port Angeles CBC

B Boekelheide bboek at olympus.net
Sun Dec 29 10:35:17 PST 2013

Hello, Tweeters,

If anyone is interested in visiting beautiful Port Angeles, on yesterday's CBC (12/28/13) there was one basic-plumage Thick-billed Murre mixed with several hundred Common Murres in the outer part of the harbor. We saw it from the Coast Guard base at the end of Ediz Hook, where we had permission to go for the count. You likely won't be able to go on the CG base, so scope the harbor from near the entrance to the base. The TBMU was in large rafts of COMU by the salmon pens, between the pens and a large ship anchored in the outer harbor. This is the same area where one was first spotted on last year's CBC.

Also, there were large feeding flocks of Mew and Olympic-type Gulls around Ediz Hook yesterday, along with cormorants, alcids, grebes, etc, mostly working a tide line on the north side of the Hook. While we counted the flocks, a lovely shearwater came flying through, soaring back and forth, then landing by the feeding gulls. We had a decent look at the bird and its underwings to identify it as a Short-tailed. A couple hours later, another Short-tailed with darker underwings than the first soared past us at the tip off the Hook, circling several times right offshore, giving us great looks. Then about an hour or so later another Short-tailed flew by right offshore of the restrooms near the entrance to the CG base, again giving excellent looks. Based on the differences between the birds, we think there were at least two different birds. The visibility was superb, giving us great looks at the birds as they flew right offshore in the light winds. Don't know whether they'll stick around, but it might be worth looking. It was quite a treat to see them so close to shore.

Bob Boekelheide

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