[Tweeters] Olympic Peninsula - House Wrens, Whimbrels and Western Bluebirds

Tim Brennan tsbrennan at hotmail.com
Mon May 20 01:59:58 PDT 2013

Hi Tweets!

I spent the weekend on the Olympic Peninsula, finishing with an interesting drive through the Willapa Hills. Highlights:

Sandy Shore Lake (Jefferson County): House Wren, and numerous warblers, including MacGillivray's.
Oyster House (Clallam County): a lingering Black Scoter
Lost Mountain (Clallam County): Hutton's Vireos, House Wren. These stops were with Vincent Lucas who birded Clallam County with me in the morning - it was very birdy up there, even though we weren't on the mountain until noon.
Some clear cut between Port Angeles and Neah Bay: (and I know I need to narrow that down - this will take some time with google maps!) Western Bluebird
Near Neah Bay: one Whimbrel; Hobuck Beach: ten Whimbrels; Tokeland: 100 Whimbrels! This was a lifer for me. Thank goodness they eased me into it - 100 would have been a lot to take.

At this point, it was almost three o'clock on Sunday, and I had just gotten my Pacific County life list over 100, which happened faster than I had expected. I pulled out the map, and decided to go over the Willapas from Raymond - through the town of Brooklyn and down into Oakville. Great decision! It was a beautiful drive - Butte Creek Road was full of passerines, including a Downy Woodpecker nest (although the rocks on the road tested my clearance once or twice). I got to the town of Brooklyn and made a stop at the Brooklyn tavern. Great little place!

Heading out of Brooklyn, the road turns to gravel again, and ascends through a patchwork of clear cuts. Early on I was surprised to find a female Northern Harrier pulling a snake off of the side of the road. Farther up, there were Northern Rough-winged Swallows nesting in a bank on the side of the road, and then I ran into another Western Bluebird! This was in Gray's Harbor County - at a stretch of the road that is pretty clear of trees on both sides, dropping steeply - my odometer said it was 4 or 5 miles further east from there that the road turned back to pavement on the way in to Oakville. I don't know much about the timing for migration and nesting for bluebirds, but the possibility of them nesting would be cool, as I think they are a code 4 bird in the county.

Happy birding!

Tim Brennan

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