[Tweeters] Steamboat Landing - Washougal, WA - birds in the wind

Rob Conway robin_birder at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 7 00:48:50 PDT 2014

This morning I took my usual short morning walk at Steamboat Landing, just south of Cottonwood Beach and Steigerwald refuge in Washougal. It was very windy with steady winds along the Columbia Dike of 15-20 MPH with gusts up to 40+. The Columbia is low, exposing sandy beaches along the entire length on that portion of the river and bringing the floating docks to be in a foot or so of water. I started my walk on the docks which made me a bit seasick but gave me great views of 5 California Gulls fighting over a salmon carcass, 3 DC Cormorants drying themselves out on floating logs, and 2 Purple Martins remaining a bit longer than the other 50 or so that have been in the area all summer. There were many Canada Geese with one surprising family having 12 bright fuzzy yellow goslings following their parents along in a line. Mallards in eclipse plumage were everywhere as were American Goldfinches that were losing their brilliant yellow summer outfits.

Most interesting were the few shorebirds the little beaches had attracted including 3 Western Sandpipers, a dozen Lesser Yellowlegs, a Solitary Sandpiper, 3 Black Bellied Plovers, and a score of Killdeer. A hundred yards offshore there was a single male White-winged Scoter.

In the meadows on the north side of the dike there were 2 Western Meadowlarks, a Kestrel mousing newly mown grass, hundreds of Starlings, and a couple of Chipping Sparrows. There were up to 15 Turkey Vultures soaring overhead - coming close to the highway making me think that a deer or other animal may have been hit and died off of the roadway (Hwy 14).

All in all a good day and a lot seen in a 50 minute walk.
Rob Conway
Camas, WA
45.58°N 122.44°W - elevation 310 ft.
robin_birder at hotmail.com

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