[Tweeters] Juanita Beach Park on late Wednesday afternoon
josh.n.glant at gmail.com
Fri Nov 13 13:29:18 PST 2015
Sorry for the slightly late message (it's been a busy two days), but here it is! For most of my birding career, I've heard of the wonders of Juanita Bay. I've been in the area before, but not for birding. At long last, Wednesday afternoon provided an opportunity to check it out for myself. Our original plan was to check out Juanita Bay Park, but just before we arrived, we decided to switch to Juanita Beach Park because we were, admittedly, short on time.
Upon arrival, we headed to the sandy beach in the southeast corner of the park. A mixed flock of mostly American wigeon with some Mallards and Gadwalls paddled along in the interior of the boardwalk, while a small flock of gulls roosted on a "sandbar" out on the water. A domestic male mallard was sleeping on a rock, though it startled off the rock and swam beneath the dock upon a dog's barking assault.
I was happy to see and hear several Killdeer; I know that they're resident, but I've never seen any in winter before. Along the boardwalk and shore near Juanita Bay Park were many wigeons and coots, and I saw a small and distant shorebird which may have been a snipe but could also have been one of the killdeers. Though I saw many wigeon, none were Eurasian (I did see an interesting one from very far away, though... Hybrid male? Maybe). The highlight was finding two Trumpeter Swans out on the water, halfway between the Beach and Bay Parks, dipping bottoms-up into the water like Mallards. At second glance, I thought I had mistaken buoys for birds! But my confusion was resolved as soon as they returned to an upright position.
There must have been an upwelling of nutrients, or a patch of lake plants, or something else, because there were many other birds surrounding the two swans in a quite small area of the surface, including mallards, wigeons, a coot and a Ring-necked Duck. As I was leaving, the swans were slowly drifting in the direction of the open lake, but who knows, they may linger if the eating is good!
Good birding, Joshua Glant
Mercer Island, WA
Josh.n.glant at gmail.com
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