[Tweeters] Wahkiakum County west to Ilwaco
washingtonbirder at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 9 20:11:16 PDT 2014
Saturday 8-9-14 Tom Mansfield and I birded Wahkiakum County with a few hours spent in southern Pacific County. Our first stop on Hwy 4 east of Cathlamet we found a scattered flock of peeps and many Caspian Terns. The peeps were too far away for scope ID. This set the tone for looking for mud and other shorebirds for the rest of the day. The STP ponds near the Cathlamet marina should have had shorebirds, but possibly too much human disturbance. We did have several Vaux's Swifts catching insects above the ponds.
On Puget Island we had 1 Spotted Sandpiper. Then 1.1 miles on East Birnie Slough Rd. from Hwy 409 we discovered a small flock of passerines. On closer inspection we had 3 Red-eyed Vireos and 2 Warbling Vireos.
Brooks Slough was our only option for the Julia Butler Hansen NWR since most of the refuge is closed. Three shorebirds were found along Brooks Slough; a Killdeer, a Greater Yellowlegs, and a Solitary Sandpiper. After dodging many cars of berry pickers along Brooks Slough we headed for Altoona. The tide was in and not much to see except a few female type Red-breasted Mergansers. Heading back toward Rosburg we saw a bright red-colored Ruffed Grouse before encountering Matt Bartells. After notes were traded we all headed for Oneida Rd. hoping for shorebirds. Last spring they were here, but today yielded only 2 Black-bellied Plovers sitting on grassy topped snags out in the water.
A quick run over to Chinook and Ilwaco produced 1 Great Egret and 1 (early) Mew Gull east of the Ilwaco marina. There were 100's of gulls here, even though we were hoping for Elegant Terns, which must have all been in Oregon.
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