[Tweeters] More Shorebirds at Warm Beach, Snohomish County

Marcus Roening Marcus.D.Roening at gsk.com
Mon Aug 18 17:43:48 PDT 2014

Hi Tweets,

Heather and I took the kayaks out on Sunday on the incoming tide to check the latest mix of shorebirds on the mouth of Hatt Slough of the Stillaguamish River in Port Susan. The Oso slide has definitely contributed a heavy sediment load to the estuary.

The Black-bellied Plovers were still the dominant bird with 250+ flying around while being harassed by a very dark fronted Peregrine Falcon. Still about 20% of them with a fair amount of alternate plumage.

8 Greater Yellowlegs, with 2 LESSER YELLOWLEGS

180 Western Sandpipers that were all juveniles. And for anyone covering the Nature Conservancy property keep your eye open for a potential 'RED-NECKED STINT'. The bird had a very rufous crown, scapulars and tertials, a prominent white eye strip. From the eye down it was very peachy-buffy on the lower face and across the breast a seemed to have a bit of a darker feather along the bottom of the pectoral. I didn't detect any droop in the bill. At this point a very sharp looking Peregrine Falcon made its entrance, so I wasn't able to double-check the flanks and the degree of rufous on the tertials and coverts - a tad frustrating. We spent the next hour paddling around for the peep flocks, but no second looks.

1 Baird's Sandpiper - juvenile

4 BLACK TURNSTONES - hanging loosely with the Black-bellied Plovers. I've only seen them in the midst of all this sand and mud one other time on the very same day, August 17, in 2002.

17 Short-billed Dowitchers - All juveniles with their nice tiger stripe tertials. Amazing how close you can drift past these birds in a kayak. And a few tu-tu call notes is always helpful.

6 Bonaparte's Gulls - no more Black heads, as in 2 weeks ago. All with the black spot behind the eye and doing a feeding behavior that reminded me of foxes hunting mice in the grass. The birds were in about 3 inches of water and would jump up and then stab down into something in the sand-mud mix. Perhaps some sort of marine annelid poking its head out. There were no little fish present.

130 Caspian Terns - all adults

4 Semipalmated Plover, 1 Spotted Sandpiper, 4 Least Sandpiper (1 worn adult)

And 6 Turkey Vultures working over a dead Mallard, albeit not all at the same time.

The nearest boat launch to access this area is on Marine View Drive as it crosses Hatt Slough (this is just south of Stanwood).

Good Birding,

Marcus Roening
Tacoma WA
marcus.d.roening at GSK.com
C: 253-988-8313

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