[Tweeters] Eastside Audubon Sequim trip 14 April 2015
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Tue Apr 14 20:23:33 PDT 2015
A group of us from Eastside Audubon took a trip over to the Kitsap/Sequim
area today. The day started out chilly (37F) and with a few broken clouds.
We caught the ferry just before it left the Edmonds terminal and it looked
like the Olympics had caught some snow last night - saw SURF SCOTER, PELAGIC
CORMORANT close to the terminal. Further out we had a RHINOCEROS AUKLET fly
by, a couple more SURF SCOTERs, a buzz by of a BLACK SCOTER, and then long
lines of BRANT out in the middle of the channel. A couple of WESTERN GREBEs,
a single CALIFORNIA GULL. Over at the Kingston side there were
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, PELAGIC CORMORNT and BRANDT'S CORMORANT, lots of
BARROW'S GOLDENEYEs, some PIGEON GUILLEMOTs.
As we approached Port Gamble it looked like we were going to be fogged in -
but the town and the bay were perfectly clear. After searching we saw
BUFFLEHEAD, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, HORNED GREBE (in breeding plumage),
COMMON LOON (also in breeding plumage), BELTED KINGFISHER, WHITE-CROWNED
SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, SPOTTED TOWHEE, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, AMERICAN
ROBIN, EUROPEAN STARLING, AMERICAN CROW and unidentified hummingbird. As we
left we saw three PINE SISKINs in a decorative tree. At Salsbury Point
County Park there must have been 50+ PIGEON GUILLEMOTs over by the Hood
Canal Bridge, some SURF SCOTERs, another BELTED KINGFISHER flew by. Turning
and looking to the east we saw HORNED GREBE and REDNECKED GREBE (both in
breeding plumage), a COMMON LOON, more Pigeon GUILLEMOTs, a couple of
RHINOCEROS AUKLETs, and a pair of MARBLED MURRELETS (still in winter garb).
Across the bridge we turned down into Shine Tidelands S.P. and saw MALLARD,
AMERICAN WIGEON, BUFFLEHEAD, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, SURF SCOTER, and in the
wetland KILLDEER, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, SONG SPARROW and an AMERICAN PIPIT.
It had warmed all the way up to 40F.
Our next stop was out at Diamond Point - where a strong west wind had picked
up (at least 10 mph and mostly close to 25 mph the rest of the day). The
chop and whitecaps made it difficult to see anything out in the channel, but
we did have a pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKs close to shore. On the pond we saw
MALLARD, GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON, GREATER SCAUP, RUDDY DUCK, NORTHERN
SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREAT BLUE HERON, and GREATER YELLOWLEGS. A
brilliant SAVANNAH SPARROW perched on some old dry dead sticks.
Up to John Wayne Marina - the pond before the marina had MALLARD, AMERICAN
WIGEON, GREEN-WINGED TEAL. A conglomeration of gulls was on the shore - all
"Olympic Gulls", not a "pure" Glaucous-winged among them. At the north end
of the marina we had a brief look at a relatively close EURASIAN WIGEON in
with some AMERICANs, but they flew to a more distant spot. But the very
close looks at a pair of breeding MARBLED MURRELETs more than made up for
it. Had to hold the scopes down so they would blow over in the wind.
We stopped at the Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park anticipating a nice
walk along the bridge trail. Wasn't to be - last February a large flood
(following one in December that cut a new channel for the Dungeness River)
took out one of the support poles for the part of the bridge just beyond the
metal part, and the bridge decking sagged. So the bridge trail is now
off-limits (if you see it you understand why). We talked to the folks in the
Center and there are plans to repair the bridge, but probably not til August
when flows are lower and there are now fish runs. We were protected from the
wind so made that our lunch stop and had a couple of COMMON RAVENs fly over.
At the feeders around the center we saw SONG SPARROW, PINE SISKINs,
BLACK-CAPPED and CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEEs, heard WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW,
and saw ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD and RUFUOUS HUMMINGBIRD. There was a very strange
bird calling, and when tracked down it was a SPOTTED TOWHEE with the most
unusual call we have heard. A RED-TAILED HAWK flew overhead.
We next stopped at the Kitchen Dick ponds (north of the new railings
blocking the old wide shoulder). The ponds had MALLARD, GADWALL,
GREEN-WINGED TEAL, RUDDY DUCK, AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN COOT, NORTHERN
SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL, RING-NECKED DUCK. GREAT BLUE HERON, RED-WINGED
BLACKBIRD. As we entered Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge we had a
cooperative NORTHERN HARRIER circle past us. At the first pullout to look
over the Strait there were almost no birds, but the water was muddy brown
all along the shore. We wondered if it was longshore drift from the Elwah
On the way to Dungeness Landing County Park we had two BALD EAGLEs, and a
flyby COOPER'S HAWK. At the park the tide was at high and the wind was very
strong. Some very distant ducks but no shorebirds. Around to the old Three
Crabs and we had a male AMERICAN KESTREL perched on a tree on the way in.
>From the end of the road we could see the female AMERICAN KESTREL, Scanning
to the west there were lots of AMERICAN WIGEON and two EURASION WIGEON.
MALLARDs. An immature BALD EAGLE perched on the old platform. As we left we
saw BREWER'S BLACKBIRD, BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, and EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE.
We took the Port Williams Road, and partway out had a field just loaded with
gulls. It was the worst location to stop and scan, but we did see WESTERN
GULL, GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL and lots and lots of Olympic gulls. In the rose
bushes lining the road there was an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (very yellow).
Out at the shore there were COMMON LOON, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, PIGEON
GUILLEMOT. Down Schmuck Road to the dairy and the silo top was loaded with
At other spots we saw: NORTHERN FLICKER, STELLER'S JAY, TREE SWALLOW,
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, DARK-EYED JUNCO, HOUSE FINCH
and HOUSE SPARROW.
Shortly after we left Sequim on the way home it started to rain, and we had
showers all the way back to Kingston.
It was an excellent day of birding, in spite of the wind, with lots of
really nice looks and with excellent company. We finished the day with 74
Brian H. Bell
Mail to bell asoc at iso me di a d o t com
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