[Tweeters] Des Moines - Fog Bow and Seabirds - Sat, Jan 25
Carol & Lynn Schulz
carol.schulz50 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 25 22:34:17 PST 2014
You never know what you'll see along the waterfront in Des Moines. A lot depends on the tide and the weather on Puget Sound. Today there was a spectacular FOG BOW that quite a few of us saw as the thick fog dissipated about 1:30pm. We were standing about 1/3 of the way out on the Des Moines fishing pier. The sun was at our backs trying to burn off the fog. As we looked to the north a fog bow developed. It's a weather phenomenon. It was white and about 150 wide and probably about 100 feet tall. It lasted for at least 20 minutes, sometimes fading a bit, and then coming back as the fog moved about over the water. Wow!
I birded all afternoon, right up to the evening's spectacular sunset. Birding was good today, and has been good this week. During the week I saw 6 Thayer's Gulls perched on a gravel bar, out from the mouth of Des Moines Creek. Today no Thayer's but there was at least one Western Gull, and several Mew Gulls, and hundreds of hybrid and Glaucous-winged Gulls. There are hundreds of the little American Crows that folks like to call "Northwestern" crows. A little ways away from the little crows and a little more inland are some huge American Crows. At the fishing pier there was a first year Rhinocerous Auklet, several Red-breasted Mergansers including 2 males, one female Harlequin Duck, and some Common Goldeneyes.
Farther to the south in Des Moines a very good view point is at the foot of S 239th. Some of us call it the Zenith Access. It's a little City of Des M pocket park, that is an access to the sound at the bottom of 239th. The location is to the west and below the "castle" called Landmark on the Sound. Formerly the Masonic Hame. At the bottom of some steps there is a viewing platform. You can walk down a ladder to the beach if you want. I stayed up on the platform.
Down below the platform were 7 Harlequin Ducks. Various groups of seabirds swam by including 5 Black Scoters, 2 White-winged Scoters, and approx. 20 Surf Scoters. Visible close in to shore to the north there were 44 Brant geese, the first I've seen this winter.
Back at the marina, there were a lot of people enjoying the view and the birds. Weather was warm, there was no wind, and we had a wonderful sunset. An adult Bald Eagle was perched on a snag on the bluff out to the north.
It was a great day today on the salt water.
Yours, Carol Schulz
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