[Tweeters] Notes from Mason County and the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry

Blair Bernson blair at washingtonadvisorygroup.com
Fri Apr 3 19:07:17 PDT 2015

I was able to combine a business visit with some
birding in Mason County today crossing over from
Edmonds to Kingston.
Not much going on the Ferry ride except perhaps
1/4 mile off Kingston there was a large flock of
Bonaparte's Gulls - maybe 150-200. I had only
distant views through bins and camera but was able
to see at least one and I think more Gulls with
full black heads. Also as a surprise was a pair
of Long Tailed Ducks in the same area as the
Bonies and in fact one distant picture has the
Breeding Bonaparte's and the ducks.

I stopped at Belfair State Park hoping to find an
Eared Grebe. No such luck but the Marbled
Dowitcher was present as was a single Greater
Yellowlegs and a fly-by of 4 or 5 Black Bellied
Plovers. Also a very active Pileated Woodpecker, a
singing Orange Crowned Warbler and some
Crossbills. There were also zillions (at least)
Surf Scoters and Buffleheads and a smattering of
other ducks including some White Winged Scoters.
No grebes at all. However visible in the scope
but too far away to even ID there was a long
"string" of either Western Grebes or Gulls (sp).
I thought I could make out some long white necks
but the rain. distance and distortion made it
impossible to even make that distinction. Driving
along the Canal I finally found some grebes - 2
Red Necked and maybe 10 Horned. Interestingly
some of the Horned Grebes were in full or almost
full breeding plumage - not what I have seen at
the Edmonds Pier.

Unannounced I stopped by to say hello to Mary
Hrudkaj and was very disappointed to miss her -
she is off birding in Eastern Washington. At her
house there was a bright male Rufous Hummingbird,
5+ purple finches including one that I swear was a
female and was singing away; Band Tailed Pigeons,
Mourning Doves, Juncos, Chickadees, another Orange
Crowned Warbler and numerous Steller's Jays. No
Mountain Quail ... BUT - about 2 minutes after I
left going along Hurd Road I heard what I thought
was a Mountain Quail "queerk". When I pulled
over, I heard it again and then from the other
side of the road a single Mountain Quail darted
out and then darted back into the brush.

The ferry ride back was rougher and with no
Bonaparte's Gulls or much of anything else except
for Cormorants and Pigeon Guillemots for that
matter. At the Kingston Marina while waiting for
the ferry I found a mostly breeding plumaged
Horned Grebe and a small group of Barrow's Goldeneyes.

Blair Bernson

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