[Tweeters] Dwarf Killdeer in Everett

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Wed Aug 13 23:31:18 PDT 2014

Back in Mudville (AKA Everett) again after a stint in Port Townsend and, as soon as I could, went down to check out the finest Mudville has to offer - mud, and lots of it.
That was today with an afternoon incoming tide on the Maulsby mudflats, just N of the boat launch on West Marine View Dr. I lucked out on some nice shorebirds. First was the Dwarf Killdeer.
The Dwarf Killdeer is that small plover that most of you probably call a Semipalmated Plover. The name Semipalmated, while indicative of an interesting feature of this little bird, is a dead giveaway to the time period when it was thus named because the best way to see this obscure feature was by shooting the bird: it's semi-webbed feet could then be clearly seen as the bird lay dead in your own barely-webbed hand . Named back in the days "When Birders Had Guns".
Well, since I had binoculars, I didn't need a gun and saw all sorts of the little plovers - easily 20, but I'm sure many more out there - they tend to spread out.. 'Dwarf Killdeer' is my name for 'em - I think it has a ring to it. As for full-sized Killdeers, "ring twice for louder service!", as they say on the Plover Hotline. Anyhoo, these mudflats are a good spot for Dwarf Killdeer in migration. And big Killdeers most all the time
Also seen in the shorebird department - about 6 of some sort of Dowitcher, about the same number of Yellowlegs silently flying off- looked small, so probably Lesser.All across the flats were hundreds and hundreds of peeps - Western Sandpipers mostly, I suppose.I came back later hoping the tide would bring in some birds up close - I've seen Bairds here before- but no such luck - no close shorebirds at all.
I did see an adult Peregrine diving on a little 'thin-beaked' bird in the water that was too small to be a little grebe or murrelet - a Phalarope maybe? The Peregrine came down on it about 3 times, and each time the bird dove, not staying down too long. When the falcon flew off I got distracted, and didn't see that little bird again. Would a shorebird in the water dive to escape a Peregrine? It might seem like a good idea at the time.
By the way, if you wanna see lots of Osprey, these mudflats ,stuck with many pilings, are swarming with them, as usual this time of year.
Jeff Gibsonback inMudville, Wa

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