[Tweeters] Thick-billed Murre still in Port Angeles harbor

Boekelheide bboek at olympus.net
Tue Jan 20 18:50:37 PST 2015

Hello, Tweeters,

The Thick-billed Murre is still present in P.A. harbor, seen today by several of us in the early afternoon. We assume it is the same bird first seen by us on the PA CBC on Jan 3, 2015. (Could it also be the same bird that was here in winter 2012-13 and winter 2013-14?)

Today it sometimes swam and dove near the large ship (“Sierra”) anchored in the middle of the harbor, and sometimes further west inside the harbor. We scoped from near the large radio antenna on the south shore of Ediz Hook, looking in the direction of the ship, the Westport Yacht facility, and the Boat Haven on the south side of the harbor. Initially the light was horrible, looking into the sun as the TBMU repeatedly dove out of sight, but eventually the clouds moved in, the TBMU stayed longer at the surface, and there was no mistaking it from the several Common Murres swimming nearby.

Assuming it’s the same bird as on Jan 3, the TBMU appears as if it might be starting to molt its white throat, which had some slight smudginess and darkening to it today, in contrast to the glistening white throat it showed earlier this month.

It would be very interesting to know how long it sticks around this year, since the one last year was seen until at least 2/14/14.

The two Snow Buntings first located by Scott Gremel on New Years Day are also still present and easy to find in the grassy areas among the logs east of the large radio antenna.

Also, in the last few days there was a basic-plumaged Red Knot foraging with Black-bellied Plovers on the outgoing tide at the beach at 3 Crabs, in Dungeness Bay.

Bob Boekelheide

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