[Tweeters] SAS Grays Harbor 3 Sept 2013
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Wed Sep 4 11:41:01 PDT 2013
A slightly delayed report on a Seattle Audubon trip to the Grays Harbor area yesterday. We started out driving south thru variable to intense rain showers that finally petered out south of Olympia. By the time we got to the coast we had mostly clear weather during the day.
Because is was dark and rainy to start with we didn't see much til about Olympia when we picked up Rock Pigeon and American Crow. Just outside Montesano a Western Scrub-Jay flew over the highway. A distant perched Red-tailed Hawk was seen. At Bottle Beach on the outgoing tide there were lots and lots of peeps - mostly Western Sandpipers (maybe a 1000) and scattered Least Sandpipers. Lots of Semipalmated Plovers scurrying around. Looking south there were some Black-bellied Plovers and about 7 Dowitchers (too distant and slightly back lit for i.d.). Also, there were close to 1000 Mallards feeding at the edge of the water down at the south end. Just offshore a few Northern Pintail. A couple of Brown Pelicans cruised by. A single Greater Yellowlegs was there. The scattered gulls included Heermann's, Ring-billed, California, Glaucous-winged, Western and a single Herring. No large shorebirds. Walking back to the cars we had Savannah and Song Sparrow, a flycatcher (probably Willow, but it disappeared to soon for good i.d.) and got a response from a Virginia Rail.
Around the harbor to Ocean Shores and a long walk out to the lagoon at the Game Range. Three Brant were on the shore of the harbor entrance, a bunch of Double-crested Cormorants, a small group of Surf Scoters and two close Red-throated Loons. At the lagoon there were Savannah Sparrows, a single Song Sparrow, a Brown-headed Cowbird juvenile, a very bright Horned Lark, a Spotted Sandpiper, but no Longspur. In the lagoon/mud were many, many (maybe 1500) peeps. Again, mostly Western Sandpipers with more Least Sandpipers this time. Also again, lots of Semipalmated Sandpipers (perhaps 200). The birds were active and flying from time to time so we needed to continually sort things out. A Northern Shoveler was alone. No Lesser Sand-Plover.
We made a stop at the now closed Interpretive Center (open on weekends) for lunch - lots of Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees at the feeders, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, some House Finches in the tops of the trees and a flyover Merlin.
We hit the Point Brown jetty at about low tide and way out could just make out Black Turnstone and Surfbird. Lots of Brown Pelicans perched on the end of the jetty, a single Brandt's Cormorant. On the channel side a couple of Pelagic Cormorants. Off the jetty was a constant stream of Sooty Shearwaters.
On the way home we stopped at the Hoquiam Sewer Ponds with an Osprey standing on the nest platform, and saw Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Canada Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Red-necked Phalarope, Cedar Waxwing, Barn Swallow, and lots of Caspian Terns (no Elegants), and an Orange-crowned Warbler.
Elsewhere, and at various places we saw Sharp-shinned Hawk, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Steller's Jay, American Robin and European Starling.
A good day with good weather out on the coast.
Brian H. Bell
mail to bell asoc at iso media dot com
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