[Tweeters] Ocean Shores birds February 15-18
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.
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