[Tweeters] TUDU (no) - ROGO (YES) on Sunday

Jon Houghton jon.houghton at hartcrowser.com
Tue Mar 3 20:43:45 PST 2015

Hey Tweets!
Cheryl Capron and I did a road trip to Vancouver Sunday with mixed results: We stopped first at Woodland, at the end of Whalen Road. En route, we saw the first of many Sandhill Cranes for the day. As we drove up to the river, there were multitudes of scaup visible on either side of the new (for sale, and apparently vacant) house at the end of the road. We set up the scope and looked hard up and down the river, through many hundreds, if not thousands, of scaup, but found no Tufted Duck. Many Common Mergansers and Bald Eagles (mostly juveniles) were present, along with a couple of grebes that we didn't look hard enough at, but may well have been Clark's (really bright yellow bills). After an hour or so, we despaired at ever finding a Tufted and headed south to Frenchman's Bar Park just downriver from Vancouver. There were more Cranes near the entrance, but few birds at or in the river in the park itself. We drove north along the river from the park entrance and soon found an immense concentration of Cackling Goose with 5 or 6 white ones in their midst. Larger than the Cacklers, these Snow Geese left and we looked hard through the remainder. Finding no white birds (but several very white Great Egrets overhead), we headed farther north along the river finding more Cacklers and Cranes at several WDFW parking areas. Huge waves of geese were continually rising and settling in the background behind rows of trees, likely in response to many passing eagles. Back to the location of our first major goose sighting, we decided to sit for lunch - no sooner had we done so, than yet another wave of geese approached - within the flock of several hundred, was one white one! They landed in the slough, not too far from the road and we could easily see that this white one was no larger than the Cacklers. In the scope, they had that very cool stubby little beak of a Ross's Goose - a lifer for both of us!! We made subsequent stops at Marina Park in Vancouver where there were almost no birds - all the scaup have gone to Woodland!? At Steigerwald we found lots more waterfowl but, nothing too exciting (a "Black-shouldered" aka White-tailed? Kite was written on the chalk board from the previous day). Heading back north, we did a drive through at Ridgefield NWR, finding the expected abundance of waterfowl, Nutria, Tundra Swans, and some previously reported sandpipers (Dunlin, Long-billed Dowitcher and a single Lesser Yellowlegs). Any sunny day with a super cool lifer is really worth the drive! Enjoy the early summer...

Jon Houghton

Edmonds, WA

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