[Tweeters] 12/7: Rockport Bohemian Waxwing, Padilla Bay Pine Grosbeaks

Chazz Hesselein chazz at hesselein.com
Mon Dec 8 13:16:50 PST 2014

Dear Tweets,

It's been quite a month or so for me. I've had six, lifer, target birds
and have fairly easily found five: Eurasian Hobby, Brambling,
Black-headed Gull, Bean Goose, Bohemian Waxwing and Pine Grosbeak. The
only miss was the Black-headed Gull. Also found a few really good
eateries along the way. Hope I'm not jinxing things with this report!

Yesterday,12/7, I went out with my GA friend, Alan Ashley, in search of
Bohemian Waxwing (BOWA), a potential lifer for both of us. Our first
stop, as per Gary Bletch's directions, was Martin Rd. in Rockport. We
cruised the length of the road a couple of times hoping to see a small
flock of birds feeding on red berries or perhaps unpicked apples.
Instead we eventually found a light brown bird flycatching, at a
distance, with a distinctly undulating flight. When we got the back-lit
bird in our binoculars we were able to make out its long, upraised crest
and a light-colored feather strip going down the length of the wing of
the perched bird, BOHEMIAN WAXWING!! Later we saw the bird in much
better light and were able to clearly make out the red under-tail
coverts. The bird was easy to make out from a distance with its
distinctive, undulating flight. We talked with a woman who lived on
Martin Rd. and knew Gary who told us she had been seeing "many of those
birds" lately. While trying to refind the waxwing, we also found a
NORTHERN PYGMY OWL high in a leafless tree. We checked Concrete but
didn't find any BOWA there. We did, however, find a great bakery, 5B's
BAKERY, that I highly recommend if you are in the area and hungry or
looking for some good coffee. Also, before boarding the Kingston ferry,
we stopped at the J'AIME LES CREPES CREPERIE just at the entrance to the
ferry area, another great food find!

After leaving the Concrete/Rockport area I made an executive decision to
try for the reported PINE GROSBEAKS (PIGR), lifers for me, at Padilla
Bay. I was rather dubious of the report since I thought PIGR were
mostly mountain birds and was even more doubtful when seeing the small
planting of trees where they had been reported. After checking Padilla
Bay's sighting sheet and seeing two sightings, including one earlier on
Sunday, we decided to walk out to the evergreens on the Upland Trail.
After birding in the area just before the trail turns to follow the
evergreen trees to the east for about 20 mins. I spotted some birds at
the tops of the leafless trees just beyond the evergreens. When I put
my binoculars on them I realized that they were our target PIGRs. I
counted 9 birds, including at least 4 males. The birds flew down to the
shorter leafless trees/tall shrubs nearer the trail and serenaded us
with their calls before flying off and out of sight to the southwest.

We drove next to the WDFW Samish Flats or Samish West 90 parking area.
There highlights included at least 7 SHORT-EARED OWLS (SEOW) and a
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK being harassed by three SEOWs until it flew out of
their "territory". All-in-all, quite a day both bird and foodwise.

Finally, a late report about the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge
BEAN GOOSE. After getting a motivating incredulous response from a
well-known WA birding nun. I decided to make a deal with my wife and
daughter: I would try for the goose while they looked for agates and
tide pools in nearby Pacific City. (We were already in Cannon Beach for
a brief stay.) I easily found the goose (after it was pointed out to
me) but unfortunately no agates were found at Pacific City. I was
really more intrigued by trying to cypher out the various species and
sub-species of Canada and Cackling Geese than the enigmatic goose (Is it
a Tundra or Taiga? I'll leave it up to the Oregon rare bird committee to
sort that one out.) What may have been the highlight of that trip was
discovering PACIFIC RESTAURANT in Tillamook, highly recommended if
you're in the area. I had the grilled salmon- grilled to perfection.
However, we weren't very impressed with their bread pudding. (We're
spoiled by southern bread pudding.)

Good birding and eating all!

Chazz Hesselein
Port Orchard, WA

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