[Tweeters] Comments on Trip to Coast Today...Maybe Helpful if You Plan to Go

Blair Bernson blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com
Wed Sep 3 21:50:09 PDT 2014

Jon Houghton went to the Coast today. Here are
some comments that might be of interest/help if
you are contemplating a trip:

(1) As posted earlier we (and others) had the
previously reported Juvenile Ruff at the North
East end of the Oyehut Game Range this morning.
It was seen in company of several Lesser and
Greater Yellowlegs. Gorgeous bird in gorgeous
light (but not all that close) - some very good
photos. At about 10:30 a Peregrine swooped the
area and everything flew off including the Ruff
heading southeast. It was not seen again as of
the time we left which was around 11:30.

(2) Across the big "pond" to the west while we
were watching the Ruff, we had distant views of 3
Golden Plovers. All seemed to be Pacific. When
we went around to that side to find them later, we
first ran into Neil and Carleen Zimmerman who had
seen the same three birds and identified them as
Pacific. We carried on and found NO birds in the
area where they had been except for a single
Western Sandpiper. The Peregrine was likely to blame.

(3) Nobody we spoke to today saw the Stilt
Sandpiper, BUT Dan Reiff et al did see and take a
movie of a LARGE Black Bear!!!

(4) We stopped at the Hoquiam STP twice - once
going to O Shores and once as we traveled from
Oshores to the Westport side. Only a couple of
Caspian Terns and only shorebirds were a few
peeps, a Killdeer and a Pectoral Sandpiper. We
had hoped for Elegant Tern or some other
shorebirds - no go.

(5) At the Pt. Brown jetty there were several
Wandering Tattlers and both Ruddy and Black
Turnstones. No terns, Elegant or Caspian. And
while we were there we saw NO Sooty Shearwaters
(stay tuned).

(6) We drove the Beach from Best Western up to
Copalis Spit and then back down again. MANY
California and Heerman's Gulls - very few Caspian
Terns and no Elegant Terns - a handful of
Sanderlings and no other shorebirds.

(7) We headed off to North Cove and Tokeland -
again very few Caspian Terns and sadly no Elegant
Terns. At Tokeland Marina we had 28 Godwits
(Marbled only) and 10 Willets. There were
hundreds of gulls at North Cove - mostly
California. The highlight at North Cove was a
Peregrine Falcon first putting all the gulls to
flight (heading south) and then turning north and
taking a Heermna's Gull in flight. Jon witnessed
the take and I saw the aftermath.

(8) We next drove the beach at Midway/Grayland.
Some large groups of gulls and a smattering of
Caspian Terns but no Elegant Terns. Several groups
of Sanderlings and no other Shorebirds. There
were tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of
Sooty Shearwaters flying in an endless parade
north not far off the shore. The carcass of the
beached Humpback Whale is getting pretty aromatic
and was being picked over by gulls and vultures.
We had also seen a Sea Lion carcass on the beach.
It looked like there was a large bullet hole in
its side.

(9) Continuing our quest for Elegant Terns we then
hit the Westport Marina and Jetty. No terns at
all. Murres a plenty and on the barge near the
Coast Guard station upwards of 400 Marbled
Godwits. As we had done at Tokeland, we scanned
them carefully hoping for a "different" godwit -
no go - all Marbled.

(10) Hopefully the Ruff will return and the Stilt
was just in hiding today and others will find
both. It looks like the Golden Plover population
has decreased. Elegant Terns have not become
prominent as hoped. Neil Zimmerman found one off
the beach at O-Shores - we found none. Also the
Baird's Sandpipers were no longer at the Ocean
Shores STP.

The weather was spectacular; there was little to
no wind; the Ruff was a real treat and could make
any day!! The Sooty Shearwater movement was mind
blowing. Probably more great birds tomorrow and
the next day and...

Blair Bernson

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