[Tweeters] Theler Wetlands w/ Faye, Ocean Shores BLPH, dragonflies, Randy Hill and more!! Bird Banding...etc.../Caryn / Wedgwood

Caryn Schutzler bluedarner1 at seanet.com
Tue Aug 22 09:20:55 PDT 2017

Good morning, (sorry for the lengthy subject line!)

It seems like months ago (it was only last Sunday!) already that we (hubby and I) were on our excellent adventure and private tour of Theler Wetlands with Faye McAdams Hands. We couldn't have had a greater "detour" on the way to Ocean Shores. Faye even caught us right before we headed to the Vashon ferry to tell us we'd be better off going through Bainbridge. I won't bore you with all those details, but it was a great save and finally made it to Theler and met up with Faye and walked the full loop (nearly five miles!) and had some great views of Sharpies and fun seeing (and hearing) Virginia Rail(s) weave in and out of the reeds just off the boardwalk.
Saw the nesting Cliff Swallows (pls correct me on this Faye and add additional birds/comments!!) beneath a roof of a storage building. There were also Black throated Gray warblers that were being uncooperative to spot.
Theler is a lovely birding spot with both wetlands and understory. Reminded me a bit of the Sandpiper Trail at Bowerman Basin. If you pass through Belfair on Hood Canal, do stop for a visit. They have regularly led walks, by Faye and others. Many thanks to Faye for this wonderful introduction to Theler Wetlands.

Afterwards, Faye had us to her lovely home highly embellished with all of her wonderful collections of "birdy" items from her travels all over the world. She also had some amazing photographs by Ruth Sullivan - my favorite a stunning Northern Hawk Owl. I felt honored to see them. It was also great to finally meet her hubby, Wade. Thank you both for a wonderful visit and sendoff to the beach!

Next stop, Ocean Shores. Great weather. Staying near Oyhut, the bay there is reliable for loons, though no we didn't get to see red throated this time. Many brown pelicans staged on the rocks. We had a Sharpshinned hawk land in the tree 30' off the deck of the cabin we were in. Saw it hunting from time to time. Also had a great view of a Northern Harrier hunting in the grasses.

At Oyhut we saw several peeps and dowitchers. One man sauntered over to us asking us what we had in our scope. I was thinking it was a ruddy turnstone but of course it was a killdeer! Guess I just wanted it to be a turnstone. But the man inquiring was more of a "rare bird" for me. I asked what his name was and when he said Randy Hill I was so thrilled! I'd been corresponding/question asking with him on Tweeters since back in 2010. He directed me to our first (prior to owning Birders Guide) Avocet at the Othello County Line Ponds and has offered advice and encouragement over the years. It was great to chat with him. He nearly had us on a Pacific Golden Plover there at Oyhut he'd been hearing but we weren't able to get it. I was just as happy meeting Randy! (Jim Danzenbaker came the day before we left and got great views of both American and Pacific!) Jim got us to the Black Phoebe (BLPH) at Perkins Pond. Made a trip there after dinner and it was a quick find with its flycatcher behaviour. Got it in the scope as it flew back and forth across the "panhandle" of the pond sitting on great viewable spots. Also at Perkins Pond the previous day was a great array of dragonflies and damselflies, etc. Many Eight spotted Skimmers, Meadowhawks, Bluets, and Dancers. (Need to retake Dennis Paulson's dlfly class again!)

And last but not least, back from the beach and into bird banding with PSBO. Wow, what a humbling experience this is! Much to learn. A great group of people with excellent instruction being provided. Since I've gone much too long here, if you'd like info, contact me.

Otherwise, back to the beach next month - hopefully to relax! But birding and dragonflying is relaxing, right?

Did anyone observe any odd bird behaviour yesterday during the eclipse?

Caryn / Long-Winded in Wedgwood (my apologies)

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