[Tweeters] WOS Mason County field trip 25 March 2017

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Sat Mar 25 20:40:12 PDT 2017

Hi Tweets-
Today 15 of us enjoyed a fun day of birding around Mason County on a WOS trip. Weather was decent, though not quite as nice as forecast — a few showers along the way cut short a couple stops, but overall we had a great diversity of birds and a fun crew.

We began up Elfendahl Pass Rd hoping for Mountain Quail - they are always hard to get looks at, but this year we didn’t even get to hear them responding to us. Nevertheless, we did pick up a number of other nice species in the 2nd growth forest including Band-tailed Pigeon, Mourning Dove and a couple of close-in Hutton’s Vireos.

At Belfair State Park, before getting to the water we got nice scope looks at Red Crossbill and Pine Siskin. On the creek outlet and in the Hood Canal, we picked up a lot of waterbirds - Highlights were the long-returning Marbled Godwit, and a hybrid Mallard x Pintail [previously reported on eBird]. We also had Brant, ~ 10 species of duck, Greater Yellowlegs, Red-throated & Common Loon and our only Double-crested Cormorants of the trip.

At Theler Wetlands, we opted to skip the full loop walk, and instead peeked in from the Salmon Center entrance off Roessel. A big collection of Tree & Violet-green Swallows, a few Wilson’s Snipe, and a couple pair of Brewer’s Blackbirds.

Twanoh State Park had White-winged & Surf Scoters, Barrow’s & Common Goldeneyes, Red-throated & Common Loon, Horned, Red-necked and Western Grebes.

At Skokomish Park at Potlatch, we picked up our only Harlequin Ducks of the day.
At Potlatch State Park, over lunch, we got our best looks at Pigeon Guillemot, along w/ glimpsing the first of many Turkey Vultures— they seemed present at most every stop from there on.

Dippers were present at the George Adams Hatchery and also near the Eells Hill Hatchery at Skokomish Valley Rd.

After enjoying views of the gorge from the High Steel Bridge up out of Skokomish Valley on FR 23, we moved on to Eells Hill Rd, and turned up great looks at Western Bluebirds at a couple spots along the road.

An American Kestrel along Dayton Airport Rd., and Virginia Rail along Little Egypt Rd were next up.

After catching the high tide and few birds at Kennedy Creek, we moved back to Shelton. In the Mountainview Neighborhood around King & I Rds, we ran the table on the target birds, with Eurasian Collared-Dove, California Scrub-Jay, Rufous & Anna’s Hummingbirds and even House Sparrow.

All told, I believe we came up with 78 species on the day with glimpses of spring here and there and still many lingering winter birds to enjoy.


Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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