[Tweeters] WOS Grays Harbor 18 Sept 2015
bellasoc at isomedia.com
Sat Sep 19 08:04:09 PDT 2015
WOS took a trip down to Grays Harbor yesterday. On the way we saw COMMON
RAVEN over SR8 at about McCleary and AMERICAN CROW down near Elma. Near the
Brady Loop turnoff we had a STELLER'S JAY fly over the road. As we drove
thru Aberdeen we added ROCK PIGEON. Our first stop was at the Hoquiam
Treatment Ponds, which were surprisingly empty with only a few birds. We did
manage to see MALLARD, GADWALL, NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL,
GREEN-WINGED TEAL and BUFFLEHEAD and a PIED-BILLED GREBE. The gulls were all
GLAUCOUS-WINGED or hybrids with two CASPIAN TERNs. Two flocks of CANADA
GEESE flew over and landed in the easternmost pond. The tide was way out and
with the exception of a single KILLDEER, there were no shorebirds around.
There was one SAVANNAH SPARROW and a SONG SPRROW. As on the way down we were
under cloud cover and the temperature was 54F.
Our next stop was a Copalis Beach, where we walked out to the beach.
Stopping on the bridge over the canal we got very nice looks at a couple of
RIVER OTTERs that were working the canal over thoroughly. They only surfaced
each time briefly, but were constantly munching. Out on the beach we had a
couple of WESTERN GULLs and some hybrids, but again no shorebirds. Our
observations were made difficult by misty rain that moved in so we couldn't
see offshore well.
We drove back down to Ocean City and out to the beach and drove down toward
Ocean Shores, the misty rain continued, but we scanned numerous flocks of
SANDERLINGs over the next three miles with one WESTERN SANDPIPER in one of
the flocks - lots of gulls along the way and we added CALIFORNIA GULL for
the day. Try as we might, the Sanderlings were the only shorebirds present.
We continued on the surface streets down to the North Jetty, with the tide
still way out. We saw DOUBLE-CRESTED, BRANDT'S and PELAGIC CORMORANTs, BROWN
PELICANs, still more hybrid gulls, and offshore a few SOOTY SHEARWATERs
(distant). But still no shorebirds.
After a quick lunch stop at the Interpretive Center we continued to Bill's
Spit. It was nice to have a set of stairs down to the beach, but with the
tide still way out there weren't a lot of birds. A couple of distant flocks
of gulls (too far away to i.d.). Some GREAT BLUE HERONs were there. On the
bay we managed to pick out about 30 or so WHITE-WINGED SCOTERs with two SURF
SCOTERs and a distant COMMON LOON. Our next stop was at Damon Point and just
as we walked up we had three RED-THROATED LOONs right offshore - great
looks. Scanning across the Channel we picked up two WESTERN GREBEs, very
difficult to see because of the wave action. We walked over to the lee side
to see if any birds were sheltering there - about 5 COMMON LOONs. We walked
out the Tonquin access to the Game Range, but the tide was now in and there
was almost no mud exposed. We did have two small flocks of peeps fly over,
but they quickly disappeared behind the pickle-weed on the far side of the
Game Range - they were probably LEAST SANDPIPERs as they were brownish and
dusky on the breast, but they only are down tentatively because the views
were distant and brief.
Because of the delay at the detour route thru Hoquiam (but not too bad) and
the prospect of Friday afternoon traffic we pushed on back toward Seattle.
Along the way we saw two TURKEY VULTUREs and one distant RED-TAILED HAWK. At
various spots during the day we saw RING-BILLED GULL, EURASIAN
COLLARED-DOVE, a couple of BARN SWALLOWs, AMERICAN ROBIN, EUROPEAN STARLING
(lots on the wires driving thru Ocean Shores).
It was a good day in some interesting country.
Brian H. Bell
mail to bell asoc a t iso me dia dot com
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