[Tweeters] SAS Vashon field trip first of season birds

Ed Swan edswan at centurytel.net
Wed Aug 20 17:23:12 PDT 2014

The Seattle Audubon trip to Vashon Island totaled just under 50 species
today but we still saw a number of interesting birds including several first
of season (FOS) birds.

In Tramp Harbor, several groups of Horned Grebes (FOS) foraged somewhat
mixed together with Red-necked Grebes which returned a couple of weeks ago.
A number of grebes from both species still had red plumage, a bunch just
looked dirty and a few already looked clean black and white. A couple of
Surf Scoters (FOS) dived off Ellisport in the northern part of Tramp Harbor
and others attacked the barnacles on the pilings.

At Fisher Pond, a number of Green-winged Teal (FOS) blended in almost
completely with the mud until turning just right to flash a bit of green on
their wing. Four juvenile Pied-billed Grebes peaked at us from amongst some
of the lily pads.

The shorebird front was disappointing with mostly just Killdeer, a Spotted
and peeps but as we made the ferry crossing, a Red-necked Phalarope nicely
dropped down on to a patch of floating weed directly in front of our course
for a good, quick, close look. If you take either the Pt.
Defiance/Tahlequah ferry or Fauntleroy/Vashon ferry over the next couple of
weeks, watch for the floating weed patches, they attract from 1-100 or so
phalarope at this time of year. We had some good alcid action from the
ferry as well with many Pigeon Guillemot, a couple of Rhinocerous Auklets
and a single fly by Common Murre.

Young raptors provided entertainment twice during the trip. At Fern Cove,
an immature Sharp-shinned Hawk chased unsuccessfully after a number of birds
including kingfishers and crows and was mobbed in turn by them. At Tramp
Harbor, a Peregrine Falcon disappeared pursuing a couple of ravens only to
return a few minutes later following an Osprey and being itself tailed by
upset Purple Martins.


Ed Swan

Nature writer and guide

Check out the new seccond edition "The Birds of Vashon Island"

www.theswancompany.com <http://www.theswancompany.com>

edswan at centurytel.net <mailto:edswan at centurytel.net>


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