[Tweeters] Eastside Audubon Grays Harbor trip 17 Sept 15

B&PBell bellasoc at isomedia.com
Thu Sep 17 18:12:24 PDT 2015


Hi Tweets



Yesterday, Eastside Audubon took a trip to Grays Harbor. We started early (6
AM) and ran into some showers as we went west, but by the time we got to
Aberdeen the weather was very nice. Some broken clouds early giving way to
sun and only a little light wind. We made our first stop at Twin Harbors
State Park and walked the first loop - this was productive with lots of
AMERICAN ROBINs, and several CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEEs, a single
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER and several CEDAR WAXWINGs
flew over). Because of the high tide timing, we started out down toward
Tokeland (on the way a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER flew across the road) with a
first stop at North Cove. There were a couple of small groups of gulls - all
CALIFORNIA with three WESTERN GULLs. A GREAT BLUE HERON flew by. Offshore
there were a few SOOTY SHEARWATERs, and further offshore many BROWN
PELICANs. After looking the gulls over we again scanned offshore, and now
there was a continuous stream of SOOTY SHEARWATERs out beyond the breaker
point. A NORTHERN FLICKER called from the hill behind us.



Our first stop in Tokeland was to scan Graveyard Spit, but as we drove up we
could see that there were no birds on the point. We went down to the public
access near the pier/marina and could see why there were no birds at
Graveyard. A bit north of us there were 40-50 BROWN PELICANs on the edge of
the water and a few HEERMAN'S GULLs and CASPIAN TERNs. But, offshore was a
giant feeding frenzy with probably a couple of hundred Pelicans and a
similar number of Heermann's, and lots and lots of DOUBLE-CRESTED
CORMORANTs. A BELTED KINGFISHER landed on a post. On the wire coming into
the access point there were BREWER'S and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDs and EUROPEAN
STARLINGs. A couple of CEDAR WAXWINGS flew over. At the boat launch we could
see several ROCK PIGEONs and a single WILLET, however when we looked back
toward the old pier we could see another 9 WILLETs and a single MARBLED
GODWIT. A flock of about 45 MARBLED GODWITs then flew in and landed just to
the west of the boat launch - great study! Out in the bay there were about
18 GREAT BLUE HERONs and at least three COMMON LOONs.



It was then time to go back to Bottle Beach to look for shorebirds before
the tide came in. The tide was waaay out when we arrived and there were only
a few gulls on the edge of the water (a couple of CALIFORNIA, and mostly
GLAUCOUS-WINGED and G-W Hybrids). Two LONG-BILLED CURLEWs flew in and landed
where we could get looks at them, and then flew off to the north. But there
were NO shorebirds. We walked a ways north and scanned the waters edge all
the way back to the south - no shorebirds. Lots and lots of BROWN PELICANs
offshore in the bay. Eventually about 20 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERs flew in, but
they only stayed 15 minutes. One of the few times we have been close to
"skunked" at Bottle Beach. On the trail behind the beach there were SPOTTED
TOWHEE, SONG, LINCOLN'S and FOX SPARROWs. A TURKEY VULTURE was overhead out
near the parking lot.



We decided to head back around the Bay to go to the Hoquiam Sewer Ponds, and
stopped on the way at John's River. The tide was high, but we scoped out 5
GREATER YELLOWLEGS hunkered down on the edge of the river. On to Hoquiam ---
only we never got there. Part of the way thru Hoquiam the traffic came to a
complete stop and moved about 4 blocks in 10 minutes. Turns out the Simpson
Avenue Bridge (the eastbound bridge) is closed until sometime in October for
painting (around the clock). As a result traffic is rerouted over the
Riverside Ave bridge (the westbound one) resulting in traffic delays). The
warning is for heavy traffic delays on Friday and Saturday afternoons - keep
in mind if you are heading for Ocean Shores. The result was we decide to
head back east and make some stops along the way.



We drove Brady Loop and saw an AMERICAN KESTREL along the western part of
the loop. Most of the low spots have been levelled to make way for corn. We
did see some BARN SWALLOWs along the way, a few MOURNING DOVEs and near the
north end of the loop we had two WESTERN SCRUB-JAYs. A ways further east we
drove the Wenzel Slough route. We had five TURKEY VULTUREs, one on the
ground enjoying a meal with another perched just above it. We stopped at
Vance Creek County Park and saw two WESTERN GREBEs on the lake.



At various locations we saw MALLARD, PELAGIC CORMORNT, OSPREY, RED-TAILED
HAWK, RING-BILLED GULL, EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, STELLER'S JAY, COMMON RAVEN,
MARSH WREN, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, HOUSE FINCH, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH and HOUSE
SPARROW.



All in all a good day, we saw 51 species with almost ideal weather and good
companions.



Good Birding!



Brian H. Bell

Woodinville WA

Mail to bell asoc a t iso media dot com







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