[Tweeters] Neah Bay Trip

bruce paige BBPaige at nikola.com
Sun Mar 10 06:31:22 PDT 2013


In mid-February, I visited the always pleasant Neah Bay for three days and found Salmonberry flowers opening and Skunk Cabbage shooting up in the ubiquitous wet places. Though a bit quiet bird-wise, I thought Spring had begun so planned to return in a month to find out how quickly the seasons change. The weather report showed nothing but clear skies for days ahead, so on March 6 I returned. Do not trust the weather reports for the coast, for it rained steadily on the 6th, had frequent showers on the 7th, and was mostly clear, but frosty on the 8th. The first thing noticeable was that the same flowers looked about the same as the previous month. They just don't develop quickly with nights in the 30s and days in the 40s.

In any event, the trees were not filled with warblers, the tide flats with migrating shorebirds, nor the air with swallows nor migrating geese!

However, American Robins were collecting in scattered flocks and the bay had many loons molting toward breeding plumage. Neah Bay always seems to have interesting birds, and this was no exception. There were up to 5 Western Meadowlarks on Hobuck Beach. A Northern Shrike lingered in the Wa'atch River Valley. The most notable bird was an Arctic Loon diving near the abandoned dock near the Makah Mini Mart. The return trip to Sequim was topped off by an astounding 460 Western Grebes gathered in a flock at Clallam Bay!

Maybe I'll get back next month to see how quickly Spring arrives.......


Bruce Paige
Sequim, WA

spruceak at yahoo.com



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