[Tweeters] EAS Grays Harbor trip on 23 April
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Wed Apr 23 19:14:27 PDT 2014
Eastside Audubon took a trip to the Ocean Shores area today. We left really
early (still dark) and so didn't see much for quite a while - but it wasn't
raining. Started to pick up some AMERICAN CROWs by the time we got down to
Olympia. Our first stop was at the Hoquiam Treatment Ponds. An adult and two
young GREAT HORNED OWLs were in the nesting box at the west end of the
ponds. Two OSPREYs were on the nest, and a couple of WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWs
were on the chain link fence below the nest. The ponds had lots of GREATER
and LESSER SCAUP (probably more Lesser), many BUFFLEHEAD, and at the west
end were many, many NORTHERN SHOVELERs. About 40 CASPIAN TERNs were on the
shore of the east pond as well as a couple of hundred DUNLIN and a couple of
CANADA GEESE. Lots of BARN and TREE SWALLOWs and a couple of CLIFF. We
pulled around to the south side of the ponds and found ourselves in the
midst (literally) of SEMI-PALMATED PLOVERs and WESTERN SANDPIPERs (both
species within about 15 feet of us - great looks. Probably a thousand DUNLIN
were on the edge of the channel. Out in the channel was a breeding plumage
HORNED GREBE. The pipeline walkway had several GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLs and two
RING-BILLED GULLs. In the willows along the road out to the entrance to
Bowerman Basin we saw several ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERs, a couple of
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWs, several SONG SPARROWs and a couple of AMERICAN
ROBINS. A couple of BALD EAGLES were hanging around. A large flock of
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE went overhead.
Out to Burrow's Road where we heard PACIFIC WREN, VARIED THRUSH, SONG
SPARROW, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. Along the road we saw several GREATER
YELLOWLEGs, an immature BALD EAGLE, and a RED-TAILED HAWK.
At the north jetty the waves were high with a large swell, so not much was
visible on the water - one BRANDT'S CORMORANT and a couple of flyby
RHINOCEROS AUKLETs. On the jetty, quite close were probably 30 SURFBIRDs and
maybe 12 BLACK TURNSTONEs. A DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT flew by and a couple
of SURF SCOTERS were hanging out. The gulls included GLAUCOUS-WINGED (and
hybrids), and three WESTERN. Further up the beach to the north there were
some distant SANDERLINGS. On the way out to the jetty we had two WHIMBREL
fly away from the median. As we were leaving the jetty, it started to rain
and we had it with us for the rest of the day.
The water was too high out at Tonquin, but we did see NORTHERN SHOVELER,
NORTHERN PINTAIL, GADWALL, MALLARD and in the distance GREEN-WINGED TEAL. At
the Interpretive Center we had BAND-TAILED PIGEON, SPOTTED TOWHEE, and
across the street in the marina area a nice breeding plumage COMMON LOON and
a BELTED KINGFISHER with a fish.
We drove the beach at the end of the road from the center of town and saw
several very large groups of shorebirds, including about 200+ MARBLED
GODWITs, somewhere in excess of 500 DUNLIN, maybe 100 SANDERLING and a few
WESTERN SANDPIPERs and 3 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERs. A couple of MEW GULLs were
on the beach.
We stopped at Brady Loop on the way home and saw several groups of
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (probably 200 total), some NORTHERN SHOVELER, an OSPREY,
three pairs of NORTHERN HARRIERS, an AMERICAN KESTREL (female), many
EUROPEAN STARLINGs, a LEAST SANDPIPER and a KILLDEER. At one of the ponds we
had many TREE, VIOLET-GREEN, BARN and CLIFF SWALLOWs.
Along the way we saw or heard GREAT BLUE HERON, CALIFORNIA GULL, THAYERS
GULL, EURSIAN COLLARED-DOVE, ROCK PIGEONs, unidentified hummingbirds, heard
NORTHERN FLICKER, AMERICAN CROW, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, MARSH WREN, COMMON
YELLOWTHROAT, SAVANNAH SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.
A really nice day, in spite of the rain, and we wound up seeing 68 species
with some absolutely killer views of many birds.
Brian H. Bell
Mail to bell asoc at iso med ia dot com
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