[Tweeters] Ocean Shores birds February 15-18

KEN valvb1 at comcast.net
Fri Feb 20 13:46:17 PST 2015

The weather was beautiful so my wife and I decided to take a couple of days to spend at the ocean.
We walked out to the beach and I set up my scope and within minutes saw a group of four small shearwaters flying to the north.  They were uniformly dark all over, with perhaps a bit of white in the underwings--certainly not like the white patches on a sooty shearwater.  They were much less stocky than a nearby glaucous-winged gull, and shorter, with a more rapid wingbeat than a sooty.  I was puzzled by this species, but I saw it well.  I looked at ebird and saw that someone had reported seeing short-tailed shearwater at Ocean Shores the day before.  This is not a bird I had seen before, and I looked it up.  Sure enough, a perfect match to the four that I saw.  At the jetty were four black-legged kittiwakes, 10 surfbirds, 2 rock sandpipers, and a black turnstone.  Beyond the jetty were a flock of about 40 surf scoters , with a pair of black scoters and a pair of white-winged scoters .  About 200 red-throated loons flew by to the north in two loose flocks.  The only other bird of note was a great horned owl , hooting from a large spruce tree along the Weatherwax trail.  If you at Ocean Shores seeking a nice forest walk, I highly recommend the Weatherwax trail, which winds through a remnant Sitka spruce forest with large trees.
Ken Brunner

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