[Tweeters] Ocean Shores, Red Throated Loon! and Sootys, etc. / Caryn / Wedgwood

Caryn Schutzler bluedarner1 at seanet.com
Tue Aug 30 09:47:27 PDT 2016

Good morning, Tweeters,

Just returned from a few days at the beach. A few degrees cooler, no rain and a lifebird...

Staying near the Oyhut reserve, we had great weather and a relaxing visit - away from our yard birds for a bit.

We awoke on Saturday to the Sooty Shearwaters streaming by between Ocean Shores north jetty down past Damon Pt. There was a raft of them in the cove of Damon Pt and they were stirring (feeding?) and joining the long black line. They were nearly non-stop ever since, sometimes closer in, turning at Damon Pt. to head north again. Quite a spectacle!
Also heard a 'chet, chet' and saw a Orange Crowned Warbler which was unexpected.

Dianna Moore kindly mentioned a memorial for Ruth Sullivan (which I'd not caught on Tweeters) taking place, which we did attend. Faye and Diane were there among many other wonderful birders (hello to all we met and chatted with) to remember Ruth and I should also say Patrick as well. I had not been lucky enough to meet them, but through this memorial, I got a small inkling of her spark and why everyone loved her so much. So many fun stories were told and a lovely send off with flowers and feathers into a welcoming committee of Red Throated and Common Loons. It was all quite moving with a lovely poem by Connie Sidles read by Faye. It was a lovely addition to our birding weekend to be able to remember such a wonderful woman who loved birds. Her caregiver, Igor was so kind. Thank you to all for doing such a beautiful memorial. I hope others will post their thoughts. A highlight of our weekend.

So I feel such a gift to have been able to see a family of 4 Red Throated Loons our second lifebird near Damon Point! (The other of course was the Snowy Owl.) They came quite close to us on the shore. We had seen a gull walking along a getting a tiny fish, so imagine this is what they were diving for too. It was great to see the detail of the head and neck in the scope though near enough for binocs. There were Common Loons too, some still in breeding plumage.

On a walk at the small pond near the cabana pool were a few Cedar Waxwings. A few ducks had a pair of Pied-Billed Grebes hanging out with them.

There were scoters - white winged and surf. A huge flotilla of what we finally decided to be Common Murres. Yesterday near the jetty we did see one standing on the rocks, penguin-like. Amazing to see it actually brown, not black. I did zero in on a couple of what I'm fairly sure were Black Turnstones. Still didn't get my surfbird. Will head to Alki to try to see one. There were also a few peeps - sanderlings and western sandpipers. Stopping at the ponds in Hoquiam on the way home there were also some peeps resting there but couldn't get a good spot on them through the grass. They had buff colored breasts and darker wings. (Any ideas?) There were a couple of Semi-palmated plovers which were bigger than the peeps so was thinking Western Sandpipers. Saw a group of sparrows which I couldn't identify - a nice overall brown, but no marks that gave it away. Didn't look like Savannahs.

If only Ruth could have been with us - she would have been able to tell us! We'll say hello on our next visit. Tweeters do the same.

Good birding - near or far!

Caryn / Wedgwood

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